An Otherly Outlook

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV) 

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV) 

Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first. – (Philippians 2:3-4, VOICE) 

 

This passage is a reminder to conduct ourselves with an “otherly outlook. What this means is that we ought to consider others, not just self. As we operate in our daily lives, we need to value others – their opinions, interests, time, state of mind, and their entire existence. It does not mean that we have to agree with all that they think or do, but rather we must value the person and treat them accordingly. Humility listens and loves and honors others first. If our focus is on loving and valuing others, our own selfish tendencies are set aside. May we seek and depend on the Lord to lead us, as we look to His example to carry this out by loving and treating others with His very best in mind. 

 

In all that I do,

Peace Through Understanding

May I set aside; 

My own selfishness, 

That’s the cause of pride. 

Instead, help me seek, 

To see others first; 

To listen and love, 

Help each know their worth. 

May my sense of self, 

And view of others; 

Be seen through Your eyes, 

All sisters, brothers. 

For You showed us how, 

Jesus led the way; 

To do all in love, 

And extend Your grace. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us how to live and love with others in mind. Thank You that through Him, we too, can love in the same way. Forgive us for the times that our own agendas and pride have prevented us from loving others in the way in which You intended. Teach us to trust You more, so that we seek Your heart and eyes to be the lens through which we see the world. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates how much they are valued. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to show us how to let go of our own pride and agenda, and live lives that are otherly. Amen.

 

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

 

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

In Strength, She Smiles

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. – (Proverbs 31:25, NLT)

She is a strong person, and people respect her. She looks to the future with confidence. – (Proverbs 31:25, ERV)

Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future. – (Proverbs 31:25, VOICE)

 

Strong people strengthen people. I have been overwhelmingly blessed throughout my life to be surrounded by strong and loving women who have modeled strength, dignity and courage through active faith in their daily lives, no matter what their circumstances. From my phenomenal mom and her mom, to aunts, dear friends, pastors and colleagues, I have seen such lives lived out, and have been encouraged when my own strength, courage or confidence was lacking. Though there is no “arriving”, I am in a space where I look forward to the future with confidence, trusting that God has good things in store for me and my loved ones. I know that trials will come and go, yet He is faithful through all things, so I need not fear what lies ahead. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength and confidence, so that we can look to the future and smile.

 

He’ll clothe us in strength,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

And His dignity;

As we trust in Him,

In faith, choose believe.

We’ll laugh without fear,

At what lies ahead;

Knowing God’s with us,

By grace, we’ll be led.

Others will respect,

The strength that they see;

As we walk beside,

And help those in need.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You clothe us with strength and dignity and give us reason to look confidently to the future. Thank You for the women that You have placed in our lives that have supported and modeled these attributes for us and in us. Forgive us for the times that we have remained in our fearfulness or attempted to navigate things on our own. Teach us to trust You more, and to embrace those whom You have intentionally placed in our lives for mutual encouragement. Show us how to love those around us in a way that grows strength and dignity and removes fear of the future. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the strength and dignity that You are growing in us and look forward to the future without fear. Amen.

 

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

 

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

The Wisdom We Seek

Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. So He will give you wisdom. – (James 1:5, ERV)

But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. – (James 1:5, CEB)

If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. – (James 1:5, VOICE)

 

I am so grateful that God does not grow weary of us asking for answers when we are uncertain, as life requires much wisdom to navigate well. There are so many areas of new that come along in our daily lives, that without Him, we would be walking in the dark. However, when God is with us, His Spirit leads and guides us, as we so often know which way we are meant to go, as our hearts and minds know that which aligns with His good and perfect will. May we ever seek the Lord for wisdom and direction where we need His navigation, and trust His heart within us when we already know the way that He is calling us to go.

 

We all need wisdom, The Wisdom We Seek

To live this life well;

And as we choose ask,

His way, God shall tell.

He does not withhold,

The wisdom we seek;

But gives lavishly,

He’s faithful to speak.

He speaks to our hearts,

And to us makes known;

The answers we need,

As His love is shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to answer as we ask for wisdom. Thank You that You do not withhold nor keep score, but rather You lavishly give as we ask. Forgive us for not seeking You in spaces where we need Your wisdom the most, and teach us to trust You more so that we would turn to You for the wisdom to navigate according to Your good and perfect will. Show us how to love those around us in a way that is wise and encourages each person we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for wisdom in all things, as You are the answer we need to navigate our days in strength and love. 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

Light My Path

Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take. – (Psalm 119:105, ERV)

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – (Psalm 119:105, NIV)

By Your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. – (Psalm 119:105, MSG)

Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of Your word makes my pathway clear. – (Psalm 119:105, TPT)

 

Just as we need light to direct our steps in the darkness, we need the light of the Lord to guide us in the ways we are meant to walk throughout our day. His love leads us to choices and decisions that reflect His love to those around us, if only we are willing to look to Him and listen to His leading. Though we can stumble our way through the darkness and get by, it is far easier and more pleasant if we have light to guide us. It is the same in our daily lives. Though we can navigate our days on our own and get through, the light of the Lord is the difference between thriving and just sort of surviving. When I commit all my ways to Him, I find that I have the patience and perseverance that is needed to navigate my day. Kindness and love are in steady supply, regardless of what is directed toward me. God is good and faithful, and ever willing to lead and guide us in the direction we are meant to go, if only we are ready to follow. May we ever seek the Lord and His word to be the lamp that guides our steps and the light that shows us which paths we are meant to take.

 

O Lord, may Your word, 1114170357_hdr811991360.jpg

Be my guiding light;

What directs my steps,

Shows me what is right.

Whenever we seek,

Wisdom in Your word;

You meet us in love,

And make Your way heard.

The light of Your truth,

Makes our pathway clear;

Your love lights the way,

As You show You’re near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word that guides us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that Your truth is recorded and accessible to us to read and hide in our hearts. Thank You that as we commit ourselves to spending time in Your word, You bring reminders to the forefront of our minds when stand at a crossroad or are unsure of which way we are meant to go. Forgive us for not seeking You to lead us in the ways in which we move forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You to light the way in all of our choices and decisions. Show us how to walk Your path that illuminates love to all whom are near us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and Your word to light our path and guide our steps, so that we walk according to Your will. 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

A Discerning Heart

The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. – (Proverbs 15:14, NIV)

 

Intelligent people want more knowledge, but fools only want more nonsense. – (Proverbs 15:14, ERV)

 

What we feed our mind, heart and soul, is equally important to that which we choose as fuel for our body. Whatever we take in, is what ultimately comes out of us. The books we read, the music we choose, the media we partake in, the people we allow influence over us – all impact how we operate in our daily lives. Are our influences pointing us on the path of righteousness, or on one of destruction? Wisdom gives way to seeking knowledge, and sets our hearts on choices that positively influence our entire being. May the Lord keep folly far from us, and grant us hearts that seek Him in all things.

 

From when we first rise,A Discerning Heart

to the setting sun;

many choices made,

and work to be done.

How will our hearts choose,

what we allow in?

Is our filter Christ?

Do we fold to sin?

If we choose to seek,

His wisdom to guide;

He’s faithful to grant,

knowledge, He’ll provide.

He’ll show us the way,

that we ought to walk;

and grant us the words,

each time that we talk.

May our only choice,

with heart, soul and mind;

be seek Him alone,

His wisdom we’ll find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that You provide wisdom and knowledge as we choose wisely, what influences we allow into our lives. Forgive us for our lack of discernment, or for allowing anything or anyone influence that had no place speaking into our hearts and minds, and grow in us the desperate desire to seek knowledge with Your wisdom. Keep us from allowing anything that does not deserve influence in our lives from having a place, and surround us with people that promote healthy and wise choices. Let Your love that lives in us, be a light unto all who are around us. May many come to know the saving grace that You alone provide, as they enter into an eternal relationship with You. Be glorified as we seek You in all that we allow in. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

 

 

Actions Speak Louder

Student-led conferences are a brilliant parallel to a godly principle that we are meant to walk out in our daily lives.  The evidence of His presence is not simply in whether or not we can talk the talk, but rather found when we consistently walk the walk.  Similarly, as students presented work to their parents, no amount of suave speaking could make up for a lack of evidence of work that had not been well done.  Those who had solid evidence of consistent effort over time, were able to prove to parents that they were doing their job and working to accomplish their academic goals.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – (I Corinthians 4:20) Merely knowing the right words to say is not an adequate reflection of His presence, nor of His power present in me.  Kingdom principles are meant to be lived out daily, not just discussed.  Knowing the right answers does not determine our destiny; we must act and believe, giving action to our faith.  Our very lives are meant to be a living testimony to the power of God present in us.  One of my favorite quotes by Francis of Assisi is “Preach the gospel always.  When necessary, use words.”  What I gather from this thought is that my actions should do the talking.  If I am living a life that is profoundly grounded in Christ, He will provide opportunities for me to speak.  People will notice the difference in me, and ask questions.

Let His kingdom,Choose to Do Good

be clearly shown;

may my actions,

make His truth known.

Let every deed,

Your love present;

reveal Your light,

perfect intent.

May Your power,

be seen through me;

through acts of love,

done unto Thee.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not expect us to be great orators in order to share of Your great love with those around us.  Thank You that You take us as we are, and utilize our obedience to touch lives and create opportunities to share our stories of how You have transformed our own lives.  Forgive us for the times that we have not backed up our words with action, and help us to let every area of our lives be a living testimony of Your grace and power that is present in us.  Let our hearts be ready to hear the words that You would have us speak, and our whole will obedient to all that You ask.  May many come to know Your power and presence in their own lives through the consistent commitment to live our lives honoring You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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