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

Live Right by His Light

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed. – (1 Peter 2:24, NLT)

Christ carried our sins in His body on the cross. He did this so that we would stop living for sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you were healed. – (1 Peter 2:24, ERV)

 

As I continue to contemplate the cross and Easter, and everything that this week means, a portion of this morning’s read reminds us why Jesus did what He did. He chose to bear the weight of the world’s sin, so that all might have the choice to live for what is right. No excuses, no burdens of the bad that we have been – Jesus bore them all on the cross so that we could be healed and set free. It is in our discovering of this freedom from the weight of our own unworthiness, that we begin to grasp the greatness of our Savior’s sacrifice and the depth of His decision to love. May we each embrace the gift of grace that God has given, and walk forward in the freedom found through the sacrifice the Savior made on our behalf.

 

Christ carried our sins,Live Right by His Light

On His body, bore;

The weight of the world,

To be veiled, no more.

No longer removed,

By our sin and shame;

For Christ took it all,

Truth we can now claim.

By His very wounds,

We each have been healed;

So we can live right,

As truth is revealed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the unfathomable gift that You gave as You sent Your Son to carry the cross for our sin. Thank You Jesus for showing us what a life of love looks like first, and then going on and bearing the burden of all of our sin and shame on the cross so that we could have life everlasting in You. Forgive us for continuing to sink into sin, and help us to seek You to show us the way to live right. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love in a way that brings light into darkness, so that all might see the hope that is held in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the gift of grace that we have been given, and look to You to live right. 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 2:28

Sit Not in Suffering

Yet it was our suffering He carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness. – (Isaiah 53:4a, VOICE)

Yet it was our weakness He carried; it was our sorrow that weighed Him down. – (Isaiah 53:4a, NLT)

 

Every pain and every sorrow is known by our Savior. He willingly and lovingly bore the weight on our behalf as He hung upon the cross. Death and darkness were defeated on that day, so though trials and tragedies will come our way, in Christ, the ultimate victory is ours. May we rise up in hope as we trust in the Lord, knowing that our eternal outcome will be in the precious peace of His presence forever.

 

The pain and sorrow,Refreshment Through Repentance

That happen to us;

Don’t escape notice,

Of our Lord Jesus.

He already bore,

The weight of our woes;

As we come to Him,

He gets it, He knows.

It was His great love,

That bore all our strife;

So we could be free,

As His love brings life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly chose to bear our suffering, sin, weakness and pain, so that You not only could identify with us, but could love us back to life again. Thank You that You forgive us and set us free from the things that weigh us down, and offer new life in You. Forgive us for sitting in our suffering rather than reaching out to You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Healer and our Hope. Show us how to love those around us in ways that ease pain and offer comfort, allowing Your heart to be made visible through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all of our trials to You, and trust You to be our ever-present help and hope. 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

Strength in the Sorrow

I am sad and tired. Say the word, and make me strong again. – (Psalm 119:28, ERV)

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. – (Psalm 119:28, NIV)

 

Sorrow is a sadness that seems to strangle the soul; it comes and clings to the core and clouds one’s countenance for a season. The magnitude of what is now missing weighs heavily on my heart; though expected, and even celebrated for the blessed homecoming that has happened, there is this space of having to reconcile earthly loss with heavenly gain. This verse perfectly depicts the space where I find my heart. I am sad and tired, exhausted really. However, I know that my strength and hope are held in Christ, and it is by His grace that I can move forward, and it was His strength that carried me through yesterday. Each day is made new, and I need seek Him for today and trust that He will remain present; as He will carry me when I cannot go any further. Already, He has poured out His grace through the kindness of family and friends who have surrounded each of us who are lamenting the loss of my grandmother. This season of sorrow, though seemingly heavy, will be short, and then there will be a time to celebrate a life well lived. May we ever seek the Lord and His strength, as He is trustworthy and true to His word as the giver of strength and holder of hope.

 

The weight of sorrow,Strength in the Sorrow

Makes weary and worn;

This space of sadness,

When hearts are forlorn.

‘Tis but a season,

Deep ache for the lost;

Time to cling to Christ,

He knows what love costs.

Seek the Lord for strength,

He’s true to His word;

His hope shall breathe joy,

And peace undeterred.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You in our seasons of sorrow, and You meet us and grant us strength. Thank You for the peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of our own pain. Forgive us for trying to trudge forward rather than rely on You for strength. Teach us to trust You more, as it takes but a word from You and we are restored. Show us how to love those around us through their seasons of sorrow, and celebrate with them, their seasons of joy. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your strength in our sorrow, and trust You to be true to Your word. Amen.

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

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

Ragnar Reflections 2016

As I reflect upon the completion of my third Ragnar race, I am so grateful to have again had both the opportunity to participate, and the capacity to do so. I know that both are not options for everyone. Time away from family, even for two days, is a sacrifice not all are able to make. Additionally, being willing and able to run three times in less than a day and a half, on little to no sleep and make-shift meals is not something everyone can do. Some have physical limitations, whereas others have barriers that prevent pursuit of such things. Others, think we all are simply a bit off kilter to do what we do in the first place. Whichever the case may be, determined or a bit nutty – I know that His grace carried me when the road seemed extra long, and my legs felt as if they were done running before the race was through.

 

The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. – (1 Timothy 1:14)

 

I know that my context is no comparison to the original text, however, I know how very aware I was of God’s grace that covered me, and His love that met me, as sweet songs filled my mind to strengthen and encourage when I grew weary. The love of the Lord is faithful to meet us in all circumstances – even when running on the road in the middle of the night. In fact, I’d venture to say all the more. When we call on Him, He makes His presence known to us, and covers us with His love. May the grace and love of the Lord be poured out upon all, as we seek Him in faith, today and always.

 

The grace of the Lord,

Is poured upon us;

When we choose to seek,

To call on Jesus.

Ragnar2016.cheeringrunners

Wherever we are,

The Lord meets us there;

Grants us love and grace,

He hears each prayer.

 Ragnar2016.tired

In our space of need,

He’ll faithfully come;

Give strength to weary,

God, the Righteous One.

Ragnar2016.onemiletogo.jpg

Let us give God praise,

For His love and grace;

In Him we’re able,

To finish our race.

Ragnar2016.medals

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the grace that You pour out abundantly upon us, as well as the faith and love that You have granted us through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You, regardless of when or where the seeking takes place. Forgive us for going forth without seeking, or for waiting to seek You until there is a need. Teach us to trust You with everything all of the time, so that we begin our day with conversation with You. Show us how to love others with the same love and grace that You so generously give to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to pour out the grace and love that You have given, by faith, so that many may come to know the fullness of Your love. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

It is Good to Praise

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your Name, O Most High, to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night. – (Psalm 92:1-2)

 

A remarkable thing happens when praise is our priority. The focus is removed from our fears, failures and trials, and comes to rest on He who is our help and hope in all things and at all times. God is always good, even when our circumstances are not; therefore He always deserves our worship and praise. To proclaim His love in the morning, is to prepare our hearts properly for the day. As we set our sights on the Savior, we go forth aligned with Christ, and are better equipped for whatever lies before us. At day’s end, it is indeed good to speak of His faithfulness that has carried us throughout the day. Giving voice to the truth of His provision and presence renews our faith and resolve to further trust in Him. May we indeed praise the Lord, making music to His Name, ever proclaiming His love in the morning and His faithfulness at night.

 

It is always good,Presenting Our Praise

to give the Lord praise;

to sing unto Him,

throughout all our days.

For He is Most High,

so faithful and true;

let’s proclaim His love,

and faithfulness too.

From morning to night,

let our hearts still sing;

of who our God is,

our praise offering.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord Most High, and worthy of all of our praise. Thank You that Your love and faithfulness are forever present, giving us reason to offer You continual praise, no matter what our circumstance. Forgive us for not fixing our hearts on You when times are tough, and help us to trust You more, so that we will give You praise, as we proclaim Your love in the morning, and speak of Your faithfulness at the day’s end. Lead us to love others with the very same love that You pour out upon each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You and make music to Your Name, proclaiming Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night. Amen.

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

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

Compassion Crosses the Street

Compassion defined, is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. – (dictionary.com) Meeting together with my book study group, session four unpacked Part 4 – Be the Change, as we continued to discuss the book Undaunted, by Christine Caine.

 

Caine defines compassion in a far more tangible way: “Compassion is never compassion until we cross the street and get involved in someone else’s pain.”   The Bible shows us again and again, examples of what it means to be compassionate towards others. In Luke 10:25-37, both a priest and a Levite pass by a man who had been robbed, beaten and broken on the side of the road. Despite their positions of leadership and their vows to honor God, they disregarded a man in need, and continued on their way. A Samaritan, one whom would have been a sworn enemy of the injured man, looked past societal status and stooped down to help one who would have normally looked down upon him. The Good Samaritan first moved toward the man in the midst of his pain, then attended to his immediate needs, and finally, carried him to a place where continued recovery could be made. (Which he also provided for…) Indeed, the Samaritan crossed the road and got involved in someone else’s pain.

 

How can we do the same? What need to we see that we can cross the road to go and meet? If we attempt to look at every need that exists and try to go out and meet them all, we will become overwhelmed and end up meeting none. Our charge is to listen to the Lord and hear where He is leading us, and then go and do that which He asks. Sometimes it is going to coffee with a struggling friend and just being a listening ear. Other times, He calls us to go out into the trenches and get in the mire and the muck to help dig another out of the ditch. Whatever He asks, He will also equip us to do. May we go forth in His grace and strength, with true compassion that crosses the street to get involved in another’s pain.

 

May we have a heart,Compassion Crosses the Road

that’s willing to hear;

where You are calling,

be it far or near.

Let us be ready,

to do as You ask;

Lord grant us Your strength,

to complete each task.

Help us cross the road,

fear not get involved;

in another’s pain,

may we show resolve.

Let our every act,

show that there is hope;

may our compassion,

help the hurting cope.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that are the ultimate example of compassion, as You stepped down from heaven and came near, so that we would have a way to be restored to right relationship with You. Thank You that You meet us in the midst of our pain, and that You remain present, no matter how ugly it gets. Forgive us for our reluctance and excuses for not crossing the road to be present in another’s pain, and grant us the wisdom and the strength to hear Your voice and act on every opportunity to which we are called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will not hesitate to move and jump in, even if we do not feel qualified nor equipped, understanding that if You call us, You too will provide what is needed. Lead us to above all else, love well, just as You have so lavishly loved each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the fullness of Your grace in the compassion of another’s face, who is obeying You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to cross the street and get involved in another’s pain. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Faithful as He is Faithful

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. – (Psalm 33:4)

 

I am in awe of His faithfulness. From the moment I rose, to the time I turned in at day’s end, He was faithful to meet me in every moment. As I prepared for the first day of school, ideas solidified as to how exactly to begin the first day with my new students to help establish a sense of community and comfort. In the classroom, when students appeared to be “off“, I simply wandered their way to investigate further. Kind questioning revealed that what had appeared to be non-compliance, was simply a matter of an inability to see the board from the back of the room. A bit of a connection established with potential “tough” kids, and I now know to move a few fellas to the front, or to write instructions on the back board too. All of my classes are back-to-back, with no opportunity for a break until after 4th period when we take lunch. He even cares about my comfort, as a kind colleague across the hall offered to cover my class so that I could use the ladies’ room.

 

Jesus tells us that He is for us. Again and again in His word, we are reminded of His faithfulness. If we stop and look back, it is overwhelming to see just how faithful He has been, even in the hardest of times. His strength has carried and covered us, His hands, held our heart when we though the shattered parts would never be made whole again, and His love grants us life and breath, hope and help for each new day that we wake. May we trust in His word that is right and true, and give thanks for His faithfulness.

 

Always right and true,Protecting Our Priorities

the word of the Lord;

for He is faithful,

all grace He affords.

From when we first rise,

to when the day’s done;

His presence remains,

the most Holy One.

He loves us to life,

and gives us each breath;

He walks beside us,

through life unto death.

We need never fear,

for He is always;

faithfully for us,

through all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and that Your word is right and true. Thank You that we can trust You in all things and at all times. Thank You that You care about the little things in our lives, and remain present always. Thank You that even when trials come, and we are unaware of Your presence, You are there – holding us up, and working on our behalf. Forgive us for our fearfulness and our lack of fortitude in the fight. Teach us to trust in You, always. Grant us Your strength and endurance when the road is long, and help us to lean into You, when we grow weary. Help us to love others as You so completely love us. May many come to know just how faithful You are for themselves, as we walk in You way and live in Your truth. Be exalted O God, as we seek to be faithful as You are faithful. Amen.

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

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