Transformed to Touch Lives

Yesterday, my pastor continued a series entitled, “Transformed.” He began with the reminder that we are called and invited to do as Jesus did unto the world.


Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – (John 14:10-12)


The Lord is sending us as His ambassadors to move things back toward the kingdom of God. We are charged to walk through life with our eyes wide open and our hearts at the ready, so that we can see what is out of alignment with His perfect plan, and hear Him as to how things ought to be. Because He is in us, we can play a part in moving things back to God’s intended order. Our giftings and callings are not just meant to be utilized as a gift to the church, but rather as a gift to the world. When we reach out to the world around us, lives are touched and communities are transformed.


Often our own hesitation is opposition, however, the disciples and the early church took root and grew in a time of persecution of the worst kind. Ostracizing, imprisonment, flogging, stoning and crucifixion, were common fates among early believers. Despite the demise of many, Christianity spread like a wild fire in a dry forest. “Christianity that fails in a tough environment, may not be TRUE Christianity.” – (Pastor Jon McIntosh) If we are truly being His hands and feet to the world, broken lives will be made whole, as He alone has the capacity to redeems all things. God can do abundantly more than we could ever hope or even begin to imagine, if we are only willing to walk in His ways.  May we rise up and embrace our charge, and go forth to share the gifts that God has placed in each of us with the world.


For those who are saved,Forgiveness is Free

our lives are transformed;

the faithful drew near,

and love was outpoured.

The gifts of the Lord,

in another seen;

used for His glory,

now we are redeemed.

May we too rise up,

in love freely give;

the best of ourselves,

so others might live.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us the way to love well. Thank You that You send Your Spirit to empower all who choose to invest their lives in You and invite Your presence to come. Thank You that in You, we can do the very things You did. Forgive us for forgetting the tremendous power that resides within us, and teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and move mightily as You call. Lead us to love others in such a way, that people cannot help but turn to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we go forth in faith, operating in the gifts that You have given to share with the world around us. 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

Guided in Grace

As one might expect

image by Jack Brauer

image by Jack Brauer

conflict did arise,

over what was right

before God’s own eyes.

So they sought the Word,

wisdom of the wise.

Listened to leaders,

followed compromise.

Though the law was good,

God’s grace, much greater.

Priorities set,

no issues later.

No food for idols,

nor sexual sin.

Don’t eat strangled meat.

Nor with blood still in.

The list of the guidelines,

was received by all.

Dependent on grace,

to answer God’s call.

Gentile believers,

accepted with joy,


the truth to employ.

(Responding to Acts 15:1-35)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the purpose of Your laws and precepts was to draw Your people closer unto Yourself – in purity and with purpose.  Thank You that You still seek us out for the very same reason, as each of us were created to be in relationship with You, our Creator.  Forgive us for trying to follow the letter of the law in our own strength, or for somehow trying to do or be enough.  Thank You that in You, we are equipped and empowered to do Your will and walk in Your way.  Thank You that because we are Your workmanship, created in Your likeness, we are enough in You.  May we move in confidence, knowing that You have created and called us for every step we take – be it through the valleys or on the mountaintops.  Thank You that You use both to shape us and show us more of Yourself.  May many come to know You by Your reflection that radiates through us.  Amen.

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

Love Overflowing

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” – I Thessalonians 3:12

Paul wrote these words as an exhortation and prayer for the Christians in Thessalonica.  “If we are full of God’s love, it will overflow to others.  It is not enough merely to be courteous to others; we must actively and persistently show love to them.  Our love should be growing continually.  If our capacity to love has remained unchanged for some time, ask God to fill us again with His never-ending supply.  Then look for opportunities to express His love.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

In order for our love to increase, we must decrease – our agenda, our ideals, our desires, our “rights” – and allow His love to fill us up, once again.  His love is without limits; it is we, who are not willing to receive all that He has to give.  When we humble our hearts and are intentional to spend time with Him, (in His word, in worship, in prayer and in wait) He is faithful to fill us to overflowing.  As our love grows, it overflows to those who are around us.  Our patience and persistence increase, while anger and animosity decrease.  The more we are in tune with Him and readily receiving His love, the more often opportunities become obvious where we are meant to  choose to love others well.

Line-up from L to R – me, my cousin, Gram, my sis, my mom – LOVE!

My grandmother, whom I affectionately call Gram, is one of the greatest human examples of this kind of overflow that I have ever had the pleasure to know personally.  She has lived through The Great Depression, WWII, devastations, heartaches, deaths and dismay, great love and great loss, yet through it all, she has chosen love.  Everyone who meets her feels safe, known, heard, and loved in her presence.  Her heart for people clearly reflects the love and light of the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father, may Your love in us increase abundantly so that it might overflow to all whom we encounter.  Forgive us for failing to receive all that You are ready to give.  Heal our hearts so that we will readily receive, and in turn, pour out Your loving kindness to all.  Lead us Lord to love like You.  May many come to know how deep and how wide is the love You have for each of us, as we invest in our relationship with You.  Amen.

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

Who Do You Say HE Is?

“But what about you?’ He asked.  ‘Who do you say I am?’  Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ.” – Mark 8:29

photo by Carol Fim

After Jesus had done many miracles in Bethsaida and beyond, He asked the disciples who they knew Him to be.  Peter’s response of “You are the Christ”, demonstrated that he was able to recognize that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people.

Yet another miracle that Jesus presented, is that the extension of grace, hope and salvation is available to ALL who believe, rather than just those who are of Jewish decent.  His hands stretched out on the cross reached far beyond Golgotha and the disciples.  When Jesus willingly went to the cross, He did so for every heart that would call Him King, and come into a relationship with He who redeems all who repent, from then until the day of His return.

Peter’s words were far more powerful than he could have known.  His spirit knew beyond what his heart and mind could hold, and his words worked way into his heart in a powerful way, as he ultimately went on to spend his remaining years sharing of all that our Savior had done, and offered hope to those who had none.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are who You say You are.  You have proven again and again that though You are known by many names, You are the One and only God.  You are: Almighty, Beloved, Christ, Deliverer, Everlasting, Faithful, God, Hope, Immanuel, Jesus, King, Lord, Majesty, Near, Omnipotent, Prince of Peace, Quick to come near, Redeemer, Savior, Truth, Understanding, Victorious, Willing, eXcellent, Yahweh, and Zealous for all whom You love.  Forgive us for not granting You the proper place in our hearts and lives, and lead us to return the reigns to You.  Be Lord of our lives, Lover of our souls, and lead us unto life everlasting in You.  Teach us to follow the path You place before us, so that many may come to know You as Christ.  May our lives be a sweet song of praise unto You.  Amen.

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

Telling Our Testimony

After reading through Acts 24-26, I find it difficult to set my mind to but one verse on which to meditate and reflect upon.  Rather, what I see repeated again in Acts 26, is that Paul, in the face of adversity, shares his story as he is granted an audience before yet another person of powerful position.  He tells the king his testimony – speaking truth about Jesus and faith that leads to sanctification from sin.  No matter the accusations nor charges, Paul sticks to sharing his story, free from fear, as he is powerfully equipped each time.

Though King Agrippa claimed to have no interest in converting, he recognized the ridiculousness of the request to kill or imprison Paul for simply sharing his story.  The king even went so far as to tell the governor, Festus, that Paul should have been set free.

Power is presented when we share our story, even with those who have yet to believe.  Our story is just that – it is ours.  It is impossible to refute an individual’s own experiences, regardless of one’s personal convictions.

Though we do not all have such an extreme encounter with the Eternal to tell, we each have a story to share of our Savior’s amazing grace, provision, and goodness.  He has given us glorious gifts, and we are created to be in community with Him and all of creation.

What is your story?  How has He touched your heart with His hand, and brought light to former darkness?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is power wherever truth is presented.  Thank You for great examples set by those who have gone before us, as to how we can share the story of our salvation that You have lovingly scribed on our hearts.  Forgive us for our fear, and empower us with Your strength so that we may boldly share our stories that speak of Your unending love that leads the lost to the safe space of salvation.  Teach us how to tell that which You have placed in our heart.  May our story be spoken in strength, so that You may most clearly be conveyed.  Amen.

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

Acceptance As We Acknowledge

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” – Luke 12:8

photo by Joan Davis

If we give honor and glory to God before the people around us, He will hold high our hands as His kids, before all of the heavenly hosts.

I find it easy and natural to talk or write about anything that is exciting to me.  When passion is present, it becomes contagious.

How much more easily ought I communicate about the Lover of my soul; my Source and Supply in every circumstance?

Sometimes, it does seem easy.  When conversations come, and it is clear that Christ has prepared each heart for a moment such as this – it feels as if every breath is ordained by God, and our very souls sing of His glory, as we speak freely of our forgiving and faithful Father.

However, there are times when wisdom eludes me, and weakness and weariness have found way into my walk.  The hurt of another heart threatens harm to all who hear, yet Jesus would still have drawn near.  He needed not an invitation to be present.  His touch, His kindness, His healing, and His provision, provided way to get to the heart of the matter, and guide lost souls toward a safe and forever dwelling place.

We can only acknowledge Him before others, if we know Him for ourselves.  We can only know Him if we hold fast to He who dwells in our hearts, and spend time in His presence, soaking in His word.

I don’t know about you, but the very image of God the Father being pleased with me and proudly presenting me as His daughter before all of the hosts of heaven, is such a sweet space of hope that I can hold.  It is not dependant on perfection; rather it is reliant of the receiving of redemption.  Freely He offers, and it is lovingly granted to every heart that asks…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us each by name, and that You long for us to become Your beloved as we turn to trust in You.  Lead us in love so that we too, might love well as we share of all that our Savior has done before everyone whom You have prepared to hear.  Grant us wisdom and courage, grace and direction, so that we might share the story You have scripted on our hearts.  Let our very lives lead others straight into Your sweet and holy presence.  Amen.

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

The Greatest Love of All

photo by Robin @ Heart of Wisdom

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

We are called to walk in obedience to His commands.  His commands, as they have been from the beginning, can be summed up in this: we are to love God and love one another.

Though a simple statement, it is not always easy to do.  Loving God, because He first loved us, is more easily obeyed than the latter.  To return love to One who loves us, is a rather natural response.  However, to love those who hate, persecute, defile, slander use or abuse, is an entirely different animal.  To love where we are loathed is only possible if we are powered by our Provider.  He helps point out the plank in our own eye, so that we may see past the sin against us, and become aware that we too, hurt those around us.

I have found that what helps me most, when it comes to loving the “less loveable”, is that as I ask for His eyes to see them, I am made aware of the awful aches that fuel the less than fantastic behaviors and attitudes of my adversaries.  As I allow His heart to guide my sight, I find that my heart softens toward them, and I am empowered to forgive and extend kindness, fueled by my Father’s lavish love toward me.

No, this does not mean we are to leap into the lion’s den and expect not to get eaten, rather it is an exhortation to be open to hear what He is asking.  How am I meant to show His love to others today?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are equipped to extend love because of the enormous love You have for us; as You did not withhold even Your own Son, so that we might know Your love, and lavish the love You’ve given, on the lonely and the broken before us.  Forgive us for withholding love, as You do not withhold love from us.  Teach us how to love like You, so that our world in need may come to know You – the greatest Love of all.  Amen.

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

Setting Down Our Stones

photo by The Torch

“When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

When the Pharisees and the teachers of the law caught a woman in adultery, they brought her to the temple courts before Jesus and those gathered to hear Him teach.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees said to stone her, but asked Jesus what ought to be done.  Jesus, who was in the business of teaching mercy, grace, and repentance, asked that anyone who was without a single sin, to go ahead and sling the first stone.  Each man, one at a time, recognized that they were not without sin, and likely walked away a bit deflated from their previous position of pseudo piety.  When all had left and only Jesus and the woman remained, though Jesus was without sin, He touched not a stone, but rather restored her hope.  He called her to leave her life of sin, and extended His magnificent mercy that makes a new life possible.

This account of the Pharisees, the sinful woman, and the Savior, supply us with two terrific take-aways.

First, not one of us is sinless and meant to sling stones or slander at sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

Second, when we sin, He is ready to extend His mercy and grace, granting us opportunity to turn from our folly and return to right relationship with our Redeemer, when we come before Him confessing our sins and recognize our desperate need for His deity in our lives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are all sinners, You came to save us and supply second chances.  Teach us to treat others with the same mercy and grace that we have been given.  Grant us the wisdom to walk alongside, to speak only what You ask us to say, and model a life of humility and submission unto You.  Lead us Lord, that we might love like You, and in turn, confess our sins, encouraging others to do the same, so that we all will seek Your face, and understand Your glorious grace.  Amen.

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

Love Like Him

photo by livenlearn87

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My words and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” – John 5:24

Anyone who believes in Him, and aligns themselves with the Father, and gives all authority unto Him; has crossed over from death to life and holds the hope of heaven in their heart.

When we give Him our heart, it should be evident in how we love.  Jesus modeled how we are to love the sinner (each other – as ALL have sinned and fall short), not the sin.  He listened, He loved, He touched and He healed the hurts and the hearts of all who came near to Him.  He did not bash or belittle human beings for their foolish beliefs.  Rather, He walked alongside the saints and the sinners, and let His light lead the way.  He embraced with grace, and ultimately gave His life for ALL.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love all of us the same.  We are ALL sinners who desperately need Your mercy and grace.  Thank You that the moment we ask, we are forgiven and forever embraced.  Forgive us Father, for foolishly finding fault in others.  Show us our own planks, and help us to love in a way that is pure and pleasing to You.  May every Christian become known for their Christ-like love, and not for scorn nor judgment.  Let our love from You shine brightly before all men, and may the path to You be made plain.  Amen.

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

Peace in the Press

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.” – Psalm 107:6,13,19,28

photo by

Four times in the same chapter, the very same words appear again and again.  When something is repeated in scripture, I find that I am meant to take notice.  First and foremost, I notice that in times of trouble, we are to cry out to our Creator.  Fortunately, this has been fairly forthright, and is almost automatic when times of trouble travel my way.  My big “ah-ha” comes in the second half of the verse, “and He delivered them from their distress.”  Trouble, to me, is the actual situation or scenario that is causing distress.  It does not say He will take away our trouble, rather it says, “He delivered them from their distress.”  He will take the punch out of the panic and provide His peace in the press.

He does not promise a trouble-free life, in fact, the Bible tells us that we will have trouble, but we will always have His presence to provide peace.  “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 

Not only does He promise to be present and provide peace, but He will also use our tests, and turn them into testimonies.  He ultimately uses all things for good for those who earnestly seek Him.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we cry out to You in our times of trouble, Your permanent presence will provide peace, even in the middle of the press.  Teach us to trust and turn to You, be it in times of trouble, or in peace.  May we be ever willing to wait on You when the waves are crashing all around, and may our every test become a testimony that gives all glory to You.  Great is Your faithfulness forever!  Amen.

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