Choosing Circles

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, NLT)

Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones. – (Proverbs 12:26, ERV)

Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, TPT)

 

Yesterday morning, our pastor spoke about the significance and power of our circles. Our relationships have the power to shape our lives emotionally, physically and spiritually. We have the freedom to choose who holds space in our circle, as each person’s circle begins and ends with themselves. Those whom we surround ourselves with ought to encourage us and hold us accountable. Who we walk with determines the person we will become. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – (Proverbs 27:17, NIV) “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” – (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV) We have been created for relationship. The intention is for us to sharpen one another, not to corrupt. The circle we choose can make all the difference in who we become. May we seek the Lord and His wisdom as we learn to grow our circle with grace, so that we may encourage and sharpen one another for His glory.

 

We’ve the grace to choose,

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Photos by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Our circles ourselves;

We need the Lord’s help,

To choose people well.

Those who will build up,

When we’ve fallen down;

Will challenge with grace,

And straighten our crown.

We’re apt to attract,

Whatever we give;

Let wisdom and grace,

Define how we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us with the freedom to choose our own circles. Thank You that You give wisdom and grace as we ask, leading and providing the people that will encourage and challenge us the way You intended. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected investing in our circles, or for forgetting that we have the freedom to choose. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your leading as to which friends sharpen us and which distract. Show us how to be the friend to those around us that encourage and challenge in love in a way that builds up and points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to surround ourselves with circles that are pleasing unto You. Amen.

 

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

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20

Our Thoughts Control Our Life

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, ERV)

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. – (Proverbs 4:23, VOICE)

 

The thoughts we hold in our heart determine the direction that we take in life. If we hold onto negativity or fear or frustration, each step that we take is weighed down by the heaviness we are holding. However, if we guard our hearts and listen and trust in His word of truth, our burdens lessen and we are better able to stay the course to which we have been called. Obstacles will always stand before us, yet if we move forward with our eyes open and our hearts fixed on He who is greater, the challenges will not determine our direction; the path that has already been presented will continue to propel us to progress in the life to which we are being led. May we ever guard our hearts and minds, fixing all securely on our Savior; for in Him, we find safe harbor and a course that has been set for us to successfully navigate with Him.

 

Let us guard our hearts,

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photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

Above other things;

For the thoughts we think,

Impact our blessings.

As we are weighed down,

Fixed on weight we bear;

We miss so much good,

That God has to share.

Protect heart and mind,

For good things shall come;

Our path is made plain,

When we seek the Son.

The blessings in life,

All good things that flow;

Are from God to us,

As we seek to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we guard our hearts and place our trust in You, You lead us on a course that is far greater than we could have hoped or imagined. Thank You that though trials and difficulties will come, as we fix our eyes on You, rather than the challenge, You lead us on and carry us through. Forgive us for not guarding our hearts from the heaviness that life can bring. Teach us to trust You more, so that we do not get weighed down by the difficulties and instead rise up in Your strength to press on. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we may extend Your goodness, strength and grace to help others navigate the course to which You are calling them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we guard our hearts and fix our eyes on You; for with You, good and noble things light the path to which we are called to walk.

 

© 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

Empowered Plans

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. – (Proverbs 16:9, NLT)

We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. – (Proverbs 16:9, MSG)

 

When we are living life in pursuit of the Lord, it is indeed good to press in and keep moving forward towards that in which we feel we are being called. Though there is rarely a “yellow-brick road” to show us the way, the Lord opens and closes doors to help determine our steps as we choose to continue to walk in pursuit of all that He has for us. He strengthens, equips and provides what is needed as it is needed, so that we can continue in the direction to which we are called. May we pursue the plans that the Lord has placed in our hearts, and trust Him to provide what we need to live them out.

 

With hearts open wide,Our Map and Our Guide

May we seek pursue;

The plans that we hold,

As God sees us through.

For plans are just plans,

Without the Lord’s touch;

In Him there’s power,

To accomplish much.

Whatever He asks,

Is what can be done;

Through His tender grace,

The Most Holy One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we set our hearts on You, You direct our steps. Thank You that You place plans in our hearts, then equip and empower us to carry them out. Forgive us for being fearful when direction is unclear in our own eyes, and teach us to trust You more. Show us how to let You lead us and guide us in all things at all times so that we would walk in the way You call us to live. Help us to love others in such a way, that they turn to trust in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make plans in pursuit of You, but allow You to direct our steps. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

 

Guard Your Heart

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, ERV)

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. – (Proverbs 4:23, VOICE)

 

What we see, hear, think and take in, ultimately determine how we navigate our lives. When we take in garbage, garbage is what comes out of us. However, when we choose to invest wisely in the things that we allow in to take root, then it is those very things that are established and grown within us, and in time, become the things that flow out of us. May we seek the Lord with sincere hearts, allowing Him and His word to be what fills our hearts and minds so that good and noble things can be the outpouring of our lives.

 

Guard your heart above,Generous Giving

All things in this life;

For true protection,

Saves our days from strife.

For where this life leads,

Our hearts will too, go;

So how we invest,

Matters for our growth.

When what we have sought,

Is pure and is good;

Such things flow from us,

Through grace understood.

The course of this life,

Determined by choice;

Trust in the Lord’s good,

May our hearts rejoice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You for help, You provide what we need to guard our hearts and protect what we take in, so that what comes out of us is pleasing to You. Forgive us for allowing garbage in, as we have not been diligent to guard our hearts as we should. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times, to watch over our hearts and keep us protected from the things that would take us down a road to ruin. Show us how to love with a sincere and pure heart, so that others can see You through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we guard our hearts and seek to honor You. 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

 

Thanks Beyond the Scope of Simply Seeing

I will thank the Lord because He is just; I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord Most High. – (Psalm 7:17, NLT)

Yet another reason to thank the Lord is for the nature of His character. He is just; (guided by truth, reason, justice and fairness – dictionary.com) because He is the truth, therefore He determines what is reasonable, grants justice, and provides fairness according to His standards, not our own. The justice that we long to see, often takes place beyond the scope of our simply seeing. The Lord’s justice has eternal consequence, it is not often only a here and now action. Again, our response to God and His Name Most High, ought to be to offer all of our thanks and praise. As we sing praise unto Him, our hearts lay hold of the truth of who He is, and the faithfulness that He provides not only in the here and now, but for all that is yet to come. May we thank the Lord because He is just, and sing praise to His Name Most High.

O Lord, we give thanks,It is Grace that Saves

because You are just;

we choose to sing praise,

unto God with us.

For Your Name is great,

as You are what’s true;

You grant us justice,

and make all things new.

No matter what’s seen,

O God, You provide;

present in battle,

with arms open wide.

We give You all thanks,

and sing You our praise;

ever lift our voice,

for all of our days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are just. Thank You that You are worthy of all of our thanks and praise. Forgive us for not trusting that You are at work on our behalf, even when we cannot see the evidence of the movement You are making. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone deserve all of our trust, as You are forever faithful and true. Help our hearts to hold fast to an attitude of thanks and praise, regardless of what we see. Show us how to love others with open arms, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You for Your justice and sing praises unto Your Most Holy Name. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3