To Lead in Love

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. – (Proverbs 22:6, NLT)

Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path. – (Proverbs 22:6, ERV)

Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost. – (Proverbs 22:6, MSG)

 

As we draw ever nearer to the first day of school, this verse hits home even harder. Not only am I charged with teaching, directing and pointing my children in the right direction, but all those who enter my classroom as well. Though my capacity to impact students is different than my own children, how I make them feel each day is equally important. If they enter my class and feel safe and cared for, then, and only then, will they be engaged and interested in learning. Direction can be difficult at any age. What kept me from becoming lost along the way in my own life, were those who taught, directed and pointed me in the way I was meant to go. It was not through telling nor commanding, but rather through loving, supporting and encouraging, with redirection in love as needed. May we each seek the Lord to be our guide as we teach, direct and point children in the ways that they are meant to go.

 

Let us choose to lead,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

All children in love;

Show them their value,

They matter above.

For as we are known,

Then too, are we heard;

What speaks to the heart,

Love beyond mere words.

For when we choose show,

Safety and true care;

Kids rise and flourish,

Find goodness to share.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing that children are to us all. Thank You for the role to which You call and entrust us to fill in the lives of those around us. Forgive us for our failures, as we lose our cool and forget the impact that our words and actions have on kids. Teach us to seek You to be our example and our strength, so that we would teach, direct and point kids with goodness and grace. Show us how to love kids well, so that they would know that they are safe and cared for, and will glean the good that we have to offer. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek and trust in You to equip and strengthen us to teach kids well. Amen.

 

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

 

Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. – 1 Corinthians 13:7

Pardon Brings Peace

God blesses those who are merciful, for they are shown mercy. – (Matthew 5:7, NLT)

Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy. – (Matthew 5:7, CEB)

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being “care-full”, you find yourself cared for. – (Matthew 5:7, MSG)

 

Mercy is an incredible gift that is given to us from God. The very definition of mercy, is compassionate kindness, favor and forgiveness that is undeserved; pardon when punishment is warranted. As recipients of God’s tender mercy, we ought to be quick to extend the same to those who “offend” us. Sadly, in our broken humanity, often our first thought is retaliation or revenge. It takes an intentional act of our will to choose to seek the Lord and His help, to extend mercy to those whom we feel deserve punishment. A great example of Jesus demonstrating mercy, was to the woman who was caught in an adulterous act, and an entire squad of Pharisees were ready to stone her for her crime. Jesus, spoke to the men, and told them that whomever was without sin, should go ahead and throw the first stone. One by one, they all eventually walked away. Soon, it was just she and Jesus standing there. Rather than casting stones, as He was indeed without sin, He extended mercy and told her to “go and sin no more.” Can you imagine the impact that His act of mercy had on the woman who was likely prepared to die that day? Though public stoning is not such a concern in society today, our sins, mistakes and missteps can weigh just as heavily on our hearts. When someone extends mercy when we deserve otherwise, the impact is powerful and long lasting. May we go forth with hearts full of grace, ready to extend mercy to those who need it most.

 

Those who give mercy, Pardon Brings Peace

Are given the same;

God grants full pardon,

And removes all shame.

For He forgives us,

As we choose forgive;

So hold not a grudge,

Be free, in peace live.

Merciful are blessed,

With hearts full of joy;

True pardon is known,

And peace is employed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first show Your mercy to us while we are yet sinners. Thank You that You forgive, though we do not deserve forgiveness. Thank You that mercy is a choice that we can decide to extend with Your help, regardless of what we feel. Forgive us for the times that we should have been merciful and were not. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give mercy to others, just as mercy has been given to us. Show us how to love in a way that is compassionate and kind, with favor and forgiveness, even to those who do not “deserve” it. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we show mercy to others, just as we are shown mercy by You. 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

Always with Joy

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! – (Philippians 4:4, NLT)

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! – (Philippians 4:4, CEB)

 

When we are walking with the Lord, there is always a reason to be glad. Our joy is not dependent on our current circumstances, but rather on our hope for what is yet to come. In Christ, we know that no matter what comes our way in the here and now, our future glory will be exceedingly more than we can begin to hope or imagine. Joy comes through the blessed assurance that we are known, cared for and loved. The Lord is our Protector, Redeemer, Father and Friend, and loved us when we were most unlovable. Let every heart rise in recognition of our reason to rejoice, for our Redeemer is faithful, always!

 

May our joy be full,Enter With Thanksgiving

And our hearts rejoice;

Let songs fill the air,

In praise, lift our voice.

For gladness is ours,

Because God is good;

He’s faithful always,

All hope understood.

Be glad and rejoice,

For this is the day;

A gift we’re given,

To live, love and pray.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us reason to rejoice, and You fill our hearts with joy. Thank You that we can be glad in You, no matter what is going on in or around us. Thank You that joy is not dependent on our circumstances, but rather on our future glory in Your presence. Forgive us for confusing comfort with joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and follow You and Your will in all things and at all times. Show us how to share Your joy with those around us by loving others as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we go forth in your joy, ever glad for the good that You have granted unto us all. 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

Teach in Love

The earth is filled with Your love, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. – (Psalm 119:64)

As I prayerfully prepare to greet my new students for the first time today, this verse seems quite fitting. If I learn His decrees and follow His ways, I can be a part of perpetuating His great love that goes out into all the earth. My charge is to begin with one child at a time. Each student that walks through the door of my classroom needs to know that they are safe, valued, cared for, loved, and that an adult on campus believes in their potential. It is no small task to be a champion for children. We must love those who resist it the most, and encourage the elusive and errant, to help them find their way to the road that leads to their greatest success. This is the most rewarding and challenging job on the planet, and even after eighteen first days of new students, I still feel nervous for this one. I am continually challenged to stretch, grow, and discover new and better practices to accommodate the needs of my students. All it takes is one student responding to that which is extended, to know that it is all worth it. Each of us has a call to follow His decrees and recognize and pour out His love to all the earth. Though it seems to be a monumental task, it is really us beginning with one. Who is one person that we can love as Christ loves us? Our neighbor? Our employer? Our coworkers? In Christ, we have the capacity to do as He did, as we are meant to be His hands and heart to the world. May we go forth this day, following His decrees, and love well, all whom we encounter.

Please teach me O Lord,

Cautious & Adventurous last year on the 1st day of school... :)

Cautious & Adventurous last year on the 1st day of school… 🙂

so I too, teach well;

let me love like You,

as in You, I dwell.

Help my eyes to see,

Your love everywhere;

and lead me to love,

the lost in despair.

May my words bring life,

help all kids to know;

that their life matters,

may I help them grow.

Let safety be known,

as they enter in;

and peace overwhelm,

despite where they’ve been.

May love and laughter,

fill my classroom walls;

as we learn and grow,

discovering calls.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of teaching young people. Thank You that parents send us their very best, and we get to love and care for their kids as if they were our own. Thank You that You teach us and grow us in Your ways and Your love, so that we can love others as You call us. Forgive us for fearing failure, as that is a space where You teach us and grow us all the more. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can be transparent with kids, creating a safe space where we learn from failure and build on success. Above all, lead us to love well, so that students leave at the end of the day, in a better place than when they arrived. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn Your decrees and love as You love us. 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

To Tend His Temple

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

 

When we invite Christ into our lives, His Spirit comes and dwells in us. Where God’s very presence used to be housed in the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies, now resides in all who commit their hearts to follow Him. We are His temple. Just as the Israelites took great care in tending the temple because that was where the Lord dwelled; we too, ought to treat our bodies accordingly. The way in which we care for what we have been given, can determine how long we are able to be effective in serving our Savior. If we take care of our bodies, and treat them as God intended, then we are better able to serve Him for the long haul.

 

Additionally, with Christ living in us, He has already paid the penalty for our sin and shame, so we need not continue in our old ways that are detrimental to our temple. Just as we are to feed and grow our spirit, we ought to also invest in caring for our physical body as well. We are mind, body and spirit, and all are meant to be cared for and treated as those belonging to God. May we each invest wisely in how we care for our minds, bodies and spirits, and bring honor to God accordingly.

 

The temple of God,To Tend His Temple

no longer a place;

but rather He dwells,

in faithful heart space.

We are not our own,

we’re bought at a price;

through Christ’s holy gift,

Love’s great sacrifice.

Because of His love,

let’s honor the Lord;

treat well our temples,

serve Him we adore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with purpose and a plan. Thank You that You no longer dwell in a building that we cannot even enter, but rather You reside in the hearts of all who place their trust in You. Thank You that You paid the ultimate price so that we could have life in You. Forgive us for not tending the temple that You have given us in a way that You intended, and teach us how we are meant to best care for our bodies. Help us to trust You more, so that we will allow You into all areas of our lives, granting access to shed light on areas that need to change. Give us strength and resolve to make the changes that You bring to our attention, and help us to ever honor You with our bodies, hearts and minds. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we tend well the temples that You have given unto us. Amen.

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

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

The Sheep of His Pasture

You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. – (Ezekiel 34:31)

 

These words were spoken by the Lord through Ezekiel, at the end of a prophesy of warning to those who were in leadership positions who had abused their authority and not cared for those whom they were meant to provide care. For those who had remained faithful, the Lord promised a covenant of peace and His blessing. God reminded them that He counted the faithful as His own, and that He would care for them, as would a good shepherd. Even more than that, the Lord assured them that He was their God, and His sovereignty was their assurance that He indeed has the supreme power and authority over all. The word given then, remains true throughout the ages. The Lord is still our Good Shepherd. He is our God and is sovereign over all. If we draw near to Him and give Him our heart, He counts us among His people. May we seek our Savior with our whole heart, and know His sovereignty in our lives.

 

May we be faithful,The little lamb

whole-heartedly seek;

our Savior and Lord,

as His humble sheep.

He is our Shepherd,

Who tends us with care;

provides safe pasture,

delivers us there.

When He is our God,

He forgives our sin;

He rules and He reigns,

our Lord, sovereign.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, You count us among Your people. Thank You that You shepherd us with Your loving kindness, and that You are sovereign over all. Thank You that no matter what comes our way, You are God, and You are greater. Forgive us for our fear and lack of faith, and help us to trust in Your unfailing love. Teach us to love as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their God, as we faithfully follow You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we go forth as the people of Your pasture. 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

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

Sharing Ourselves

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – (Hebrews 13:16)

Community is critical, and I am so thankful that both my school and church community are heavily invested and committed doing good and sharing with others, as these two arenas are the areas where both my boys and I spend the majority of most of our days.  Teaching kids the importance of looking outside of themselves to see that there are needs right here in our own community, and empowering them to rise up and take action, is a common occurrence throughout the year, as my school holds a food drive prior to Thanksgiving, and then sponsors families in need prior to the Christmas break, so that children will have gifts to open and families will have meals to share.  Similarly, our church creates Thanksgiving baskets for families in need in the community, and then holds an incredible evening event where many businesses and the police department partner with our church to turn the sanctuary into a space where parents are able to come in and select several gifts for each of their children, and then have them wrapped and tagged, while their kiddos are being cared for in another area, unaware of the surprises that will soon be theirs to open.

The good and sharing that we do with others, goes beyond big events.  Our time, our resources, and ourselves – these are what He is asking us to share with others, so that they too, may come to call Him King this Christmas.  For the time that you have invested in others, even when it was not convenient, know that He is pleased.  As you chose to give, even when it meant you did not get something that you may have wanted, He is pleased.  Each time you truly listened and heard the heart of another, He has seen you, and with you, He is well pleased.

This is but a fraction of the parent shop... :)

This is but a fraction of the parent shop… 🙂


Forget not to do good,

and give yourself away;

as we extend our hearts,

that’s the choice to obey.

Giving that which we have,

of our talent and time;

God sees and He honors,

each kindness to mankind.

May we go forth and give,

as we have been given;

may His Name be made known,

on earth as in heaven.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have done the ultimate good for us, as You shared Your Son so that we might have the hope of eternal life.  Thank You that this is a season, more than any other, that people are receptive to receive the good and sharing that others extend.  Forgive us for not making the most of the opportunities You provide, and help us to have open hearts, so that we will hear and obey whatever You ask of us.  Teach us to trust You completely, knowing that You are good, and that You are pleased each time we choose to do as You ask of us.  Just as a parent is proud of their child when they share and are kind to others, help us to remember that You too, see us through the eyes of a loving Father.  May we share with others and do good, not only in this sacred season, but throughout the year – as an offering unto You.  May many come to know You as their Savior, as we seek to serve You with our lives.  Be exalted, O God.  Amen.

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