To Come Near

Christmas commemorates the momentous event, where at last the long foretold telling of the Savior’s arrival, had come to pass. This sacred season is our reminder of how Christ came near. Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again; so that we too, could draw near to Him, and receive the promise of a permanent place with Him in heaven forever. How, in the midst of the chaos of all of the Christmas preparations, do you draw near to our Deliverer?

“Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – (James 4:7-10)

At first read, the above passage seems so somber. However, James was really giving us an excellent reminder of how to prepare our hearts properly, so that we may present ourselves pure before Him, and allow Him to restore and right that which is wrong. My NIV footnotes lay out the verses this way:

1) Submit to God (4:7) – yield to His authority and will, commit your life to Him and His control, and be willing to follow Him.

2) Resist the devil (4:7) – don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you.

3) Wash your hands … and purify your hearts (4:8) – that is lead a pure life as you are cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity.

4) Grieve and mourn and wail (4:9) – don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done.

5) Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (4:10) – Give it all to Him, and He restores, reconciles, and calls us His children.

So long ago,To Come Near

it was foretold;

that Christ would come,

peace to unfold.

To their surprise,

came infant King;

in stable born,

strange offering.

Bright shining star,

drew wise men near;

and angels sang,

that Christ was here.

Shepherds in fear,

babe laid in hay;

heaven declared,

truth for today.

Wise men still seek,

Him born that night;

Who suffered death,

to make us right.

Let us draw near,

for Jesus waits;

to welcome those,

who seek His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and made the way for us to draw near to You. Thank You that when we willing submit our hearts and lives unto You, You come and dwell in us and provide all that we need to live right before You. Help us to keep short accounts before You, being quick to confess our sin; and help us to rely on Your leading, so that we walk in Your way and do Your will. Forgive us for our attempts to do things on our own, and help us to turn to You first, and allow You to lead. Teach us to walk in humility before You, so that others may clearly see You in us. Let us live in love so that many may come to call You King, this Christmas. Be glorified today, Lord God. Amen.

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

Come Quickly

Come QuicklyCome quickly to us,

O Lord, do not delay;

mighty Deliverer,

be our help today.

The need is so great,

a painful poverty;

not for lacking in wealth,

but for Your healing.

Desperate the need,

as death knocks on the door;

she trusts You are faithful,

she needs You, still more.

A touch of Your hand,

the warmth of Your embrace;

be hidden in Your wings,

pour Your love and grace.

Your peace that passes,

what is known to mankind;

fill her overflowing,

body, soul and mind.

Oh dear Beloved,

heal as only You can;

restore unto body,

that which You have planned.

“Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my Help and my Deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.” – (Psalm 70:5)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You and cry out, and You hear every hope that our hearts hold. Thank You that Your love is far greater than our needs. Thank You that You are faithful to walk beside us, even when the road feels like a cliff we are about to fall off. Forgive us for fearing what our eyes see, and help us to see things through Yours. Thank You that for You, solutions are simple and paths are plain. We lift up our loved ones with needs that are known, and ask for Your wisdom and grace to guide us as we walk alongside. Be the Healer and the Prince of Peace, as You continue to hold our hands and hearts. May we move in the light of Your love so that many may come to know all that You offer. We love You Lord. Amen.

Anne 2
Anne update: Yesterday was very difficult, as Anne’s pain was far beyond what most of us could bear. It is a helpless feeling to know that we are unable to make it all better. However, we have a God who can. Please continue to contend with me for Anne’s healing, and for His comfort to cover her in the wait. Thank You so much for joining me in prayer, as Anne travels this difficult road. Love and blessings to all. – Shannon

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

Between Faith and Fear

image by PraisePhilly

image by PraisePhilly

When I waiver,

between faith and fear,

be still my heart;

may I know You’re near.

For when fear comes,

I will trust in You.

Mere man cannot,

take ‘way Word that’s true.

Therefore in You,

I again place trust.

They that conspire,

shall return to dust.

My Source of help,

worthy of all praise;

my Defender,

faithful all my days.

I pledge my heart,

a thanks offering;

You keep my feet,

free from stumbling.

Deliverer,

great Granter of life,

all praise to You,

my Source and Supply.

(Responding to Psalm 56)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that regardless of how we feel in our “moments”, Your faithfulness and presence remain the same.  Thank You that we can trust in You in all things, and at all times.  Forgive us for allowing fear to find a foothold when times of trouble come, and please teach us to be quick to rise up in faith and call on Your Name, knowing that You are the Overcoming One.  Teach us to trust You more, and may we allow You to be our Defender when things seek to destroy us.  May our strength in You that leads us to love others well, lead those who are looking, into Your loving embrace.  May our path be made plain, and Your light shine brightly through us today.  Amen.

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

Where Hope is Held

Is there hardship, despair?

image by Joakim Kraemer

image by Joakim Kraemer

Does life seem beyond hope?

Do struggles keep growing?

At the end of your rope?

When we find our own end,

and have no more to give,

this is where we find God,

who raises us to live.

Mighty Deliverer,

the Granter of true strength;

Designer of our days,

Who determines their length.

May we all rest assured,

and place all hope in Him.

He is our Warrior,

Who will lead us to win.

For true victory comes,

not from treasures on earth;

but in our held promise,

received at second birth.

(Responding to 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are alive and active and always by our side.  Thank You that though we often find ourselves in situations or circumstances too weighty and difficult for us to take on in our own strength, with You, we have help and hope to overcome even the seemingly impossible.  Forgive us for being slow to turn to You and may we be dependant on You in all things and at all times.  May the help and hope that You provide be shared as an encouragement to those in need of You in such a way, that they are drawn into a lasting relationship with You.  All honor and glory to You, God.  Amen.

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