Return to Rest

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. – (Psalm 116:7, NIV)

I tell myself, you can be at peace again, because the Lord has been good to you. – (Psalm 116:7, CEB)

I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings.” – (Psalm 116:7, MSG)

 

Seemingly small things seek to steal our peace and keep our hearts from finding rest if we allow the challenges before us to determine our state of being. God is good and brings blessings in the midst of our challenges, we need only open our eyes and hearts to be aware of His goodness toward us. As we recognize how He is moving on our behalf, despite difficulties we face, we can relax and rest in God. When things are most challenging, we need to remind ourselves to rest in He who grants us peace. May we ever seek the Lord to soothe our souls, for He is always good.

 

Return to your rest, Our Map and Our Guide

O chaotic soul;

For God is our peace,

The One who makes whole.

He is always good,

Grants blessings and peace;

As we turn to Him,

His rest He’ll release.

Blessings He pours out,

Through His loving grace;

So let us seek Him,

For all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our rest comes from You. Thank You that You shower us with Your blessings because You are good. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to dictate whether or not we find rest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would find rest in You no matter what we are walking through. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends peace and rest to those who need it most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we return to Your rest and give You thanks for Your overwhelming goodness. Amen.

 

 

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

 

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

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Our Invitation for Intervention

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)

God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. – (Psalm 139:23-24, ERV)

God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways – the path that brings me back to You. – (Psalm 139:23-24, TPT)

 

Though God already knows our mind and our thoughts, it is our invitation for His intervention that makes all the difference. When we request that our Redeemer show us that which is within us that needs to go, He makes His path plain and leads us in light of His love. There are plenty of anxious thoughts within me, as the state of my school feels chaotic. This morning, I have to attend mandatory “Active-Shooter Training” for an hour before my classes even begin. In this space, I have to walk forward in faith, and trust that I am where I am meant to be for such a time as this. If my mind and my thoughts determined my path on my own, I would have walked away a few months ago. However, that is not how I am being led. Though I know not what will become of this year, I have to trust that He will bring about His glory and use it all for good. May we ever seek the Lord and invite Him in, as He leads us in light of His love and shows us which way we are meant to go.

 

Search me and know me, Our Invitation for Intervention

O Lord above all;

I trust You’ll catch me,

Not allow me fall.

For as I seek You,

You make Your path plain;

As You lead onward,

I’ll trust in Your Name.

Remove from my heart,

All that is untrue;

Flood me with Your love,

As I follow You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and invite You in, You show us our worries and how to trust in You. Forgive us for our anxious thoughts, as each one is a space where we struggle to trust You enough. Lead us in Your ways everlasting, so that we will follow the path that You set before us. Show us how to love others well, so that we walk in light of Your love and act as agents of calm in spaces of chaos. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invite You to search our hearts and thoughts and show us where change is needed and the direction that we are meant to go. Amen.

 

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

 

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

 

 

Blanketed in Peace

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – (Luke 2:14, NLT)

“Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors.” – (Luke 2:14, CEB)

“Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” – (Luke 2:14, TPT)

 

Just as the host of angels sang these words after the one had brought the glorious announcement to the shepherds in their fields at night so many years ago, we are reminded of the very same peace and glory today. Last evening as our candlelight service ended, snow began falling and blanketing the earth around us. To me, there is nothing quite so serene, peaceful and beautiful as a scene freshly blanketed in snow. It reminds me that we are made new, and restores hope that the things that seem chaotic will become calm, and that which is broken or fractured can be made new. Peace on earth, goodwill to all, for the Light of the world has come to bring hope to us through the baby born in a stable so long ago. That baby grew and lived and loved with His very life, so that we could know life everlasting. May we take pause in awe and wonder, and marvel at the peace and good hope that has come to us, as gently as freshly fallen snow.

 

Just as fresh snow falls,

Blanketed in Peace

photo credit: Flickr by pixelmama

And blankets the earth;

We’re reminded of,

Our dear Savior’s birth.

For on that dark night,

A long time ago;

The angels appeared,

To shepherds below.

With heavenly voice,

They lifted a song;

All glory to God,

May peace carry on.

Great hope is granted,

To those who believe;

Who trust in the Lord,

With this He is pleased.

So, gaze and the snow,

Take in its pure light;

Remember the peace,

That came on that night.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son and the hope and peace that is found in Him. Thank You for the beauty of Your creation, and the tangible reminder of how we are made clean and new in You, just as the earth appears in a blanket of freshly fallen snow. Forgive us for not recognizing the reminders of Your peace and hope that You present all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are acutely aware of Your presence and Your peace, even in the places where it does not make sense. Show us how to be ambassadors of peace and hope to a world in need, as we love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the peace that came to us through the precious gift of Your Son. 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

Green Meadows & Peaceful Streams

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name. – (Psalm 23:1-3, NLT)

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, You find me quiet pools to drink from. True to Your word, You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. – (Psalm 23:1-3, MSG)

 

I never cease to be amazed at how God does this. Green meadows and peaceful streams look different for everyone. Yesterday, my meadow and stream arrived in the form of sunshine after weeks of rain, order, in an annual task that is typically chaotic, and two separate sessions with two different circles of dear friends of laughing to the point of near tears. By the time I went to bed last night, my heart felt light, despite the long, and at times, heavy week, and I slept soundly. This morning, I feel as if I have caught my breath again, and can march forward through today, as this is the final push of the week. Rather than grueling ahead with grit and grace, my forward momentum is rather refreshed for a Friday. May we never stop seeking the Lord and His sweet rest, for He provides peace and replenishes our tenacity to persevere on the path to which we have been called.

 

God is my shepherd,Green Meadows

I don’t need a thing;

For He knows my heart,

True peace He shall bring.

The Lord, He supplies,

New strength and His rest;

He shows us the way,

That is always best.

Drink deep from the streams,

And rest in the peace;

For here we’re renewed,

As burdens release.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Shepherd and that in You, we have all that we need. Thank You that You lead us to quiet places of rest and restoration, so that our strength is renewed and our resolve returns to keep running the race that You have placed before us. Forgive us for not slowing down long enough to listen for Your voice, and help us to be intentional, even in our busiest seasons. Teach us to trust You more, so that we set aside time to seek You, and to be in fellowship with those that You have placed in our lives with purpose. Show us how to love others well, so that we may help extend Your peace and restoration to those whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rest in Your green meadows and sit beside Your peaceful streams. May we ever bring honor to Your Name. 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

Strength and Peace He Gives

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11)

Strength and peace are two commodities that are necessary to survive a day in the life of a middle school teacher. Strength to stand, even when weariness threatens to stop us in our tracks, or keep us from trying new things to better our craft and reach the kids that struggle the most. Peace must be present within us, as there is always chaos around us. There is no way to gather groups of tweens and young teens, and not have a bit of angst, eagerness, a few outbursts, lots of laughter, and the occasional fits of fury. The Lord is gracious, and He grants strength, when it feels as though there is none; and He provides His blessing of peace, even in the most chaotic of circumstances. With Him, there is joy in this job that many of us are called to do. Kids notice a difference when we find strength, despite our exhaustion, and peace regardless of that which goes on around us. May we each embrace the strength and peace that the Lord grants to those who seek Him.

The Lord gives us strength,Calm in the Storm

whenever we call;

He sees all our needs,

and won’t let us fall.

For He longs to bless,

His people with peace;

let anxieties,

to Him be released.

The Lord is faithful,

He is present still;

to help and to hold,

lead us in His will.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give strength to Your people, and that You bless those who call on Your Name with peace. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You – in every situation and circumstance. Thank You for the youth of this generation. Thank You for the hearts that are seeking You. Forgive us for the frustration that we have with anyone we encounter that seems to zap our strength or steal our peace. Teach us to rely on You, so that in those situations, we are sharing Your love and grace, and instead, giving the opportunity to others to experience Your kindness and peace in a tangible way. May many choose to invest their lives in You. Be exalted O God, as we receive the strength and peace that You give, and use them for Your glory. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Mighty to Save

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over You with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17)

There are days when we just need to be reminded of how God is present, how much He loves us, and that He delights in us and saves us, as He sings over us.  That is some seriously loaded imagery.  First, remembering that God is with me, even when I am unaware. His presence is powerful, and He is able to do abundantly more than I could ever hope or imagine.  He is mighty to save, and He saves us from ourselves, our circumstances, and that which keeps our hearts from holding the truth of who He is and what He has done for each of us.  Just as a parent delights in their precious progeny, so too does the Lord delight in each of us.  His love can calm the most chaotic of hearts and minds, and bring peace to the weariest of souls.  Because we are His, He rejoices over us with singing.  We cannot do enough, nor be enough, but rather it is the Lord’s great love for His created, that propels His perfect love that He passes on to His people.  May we look to Him who is with us, delighting in us, quieting us with His love, and rejoicing over us with singing as He saves us with His might.
                                                                                                                                                                The Lord is with us,butterflies
He’s mighty to save;
He takes great delight,
in making us brave.
He quiets our hearts,
in His love, there’s peace;
as He sings to us,
we find sweet release.
May our hearts hold hope,
as we trust in Him;
for the Lord, He saves,
and starts from within.
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                         Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us, that You save us, and that You delight in us.  Thank You that You quiet us with Your love and rejoice over us with Your singing.  Thank You that You alone can settle our storm-ridden souls.  Forgive us for forgetting how very near You are, and not slowing down and simply sitting and soaking in Your sweet presence.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we will run to You, be it in times of blessing or chaos; for in You, there is always comfort and calm.  Lead us to love others so that they too may come to know the goodness and grace that is found in You alone.  May many choose to trust in You.  Be glorified O God, as we look to You in all things and at all times; for You are our mighty God who saves.  Amen.
He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25
 
 
 

He Leads Us to Rest

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. – (Psalm 23:1-3, NASB)

Shepherds lead, guide and protect their sheep to keep them safe and help them grow strong. The Lord is our Shepherd. He knows what we need, and cares for us accordingly. When we are weary, He brings us to a place of rest, where if we still our soul and seek Him, we become acutely aware of His nearness and provision for us. He restores our brokenness through His kindness, and loves us all the while. If we choose to follow Him, we want not; for He provides what we need, as it is needed. May we look to the Lord and allow Him to lead, as He is our good Shepherd.

When I know He’s near,Rest in His Unfailing Love

I’m safe in His arms;

He leads and protects,

keeps me safe from harm.

He brings me beside,

places I can rest;

He knows what’s needed,

and His ways are best.

My soul is restored,

as I trust in Him;

He loves me to life,

and leads me again.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Shepherd and that in You, we shall not want. Thank You that You bring us to quiet spaces of rest, where You restore our soul, and renew our strength. Thank You that all that we need is provided in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness and angst that rises up when life becomes chaotic. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will allow You to lead, and willingly follow You wherever You call us to go. Show us how to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your leading and rest in the spaces of peace that You draw us into. 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

What Power is This?

He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. – (Jeremiah 51:15)

 

In the midst of sharing the message of destruction that the Lord had for the Babylonians, Jeremiah perfectly placed this poignant passage that recognizes the remarkable, in the Lord alone. Though the Babylonians were a powerful force, they would not stand under the opposition of He who made the earth. No people’s power can come close to His. A wisdom and understanding that stretched out the heavens, cannot be compared to the mere minds of men. When all seems chaotic and on a downward spiral around us, we can hold fast to He who is greater than all. Our hope is present in Christ, and our future forever secured in Him. May we go forth in His grace, trusting in His power, wisdom and understanding that are far greater than all else.

 

What power is this,IMG_0069

that created earth?

Who founded the world,

and ordained our birth.

The God of heaven,

Creator of Earth;

granter of new life,

breathed life at our birth.

In His great wisdom,

He stretched out the skies;

hand-crafted all things,

where true beauty lies.

The very same God,

Who spoke life in all;

will come dwell in us,

and answer our call.

Trust in His wisdom,

rely on His grace;

He is our true hope,

our peace in this place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the earth by Your power, and You founded the world with Your wisdom. Thank You that You stretched out the heavens with Your understanding. Thank You that You who can do such mighty things, care for each of us, individually. Thank You that You know us intimately, and still love us with Your life. Forgive us for forgetting just how big and powerful You are in the midst of our messes, and help us to hold fast to You – the only One who is our hope, our comfort, and our peace – regardless of what is happening. Help us to trust You more, so that we move mightily on Your behalf. Let us love others as You love us, and may lives be changed and hearts turned toward You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we stand in awe of who You are and all that You have done. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16