Praise in Mourning

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, NIV)

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. – (2 Corinthians 1:3, VOICE)

 

This morning, I find myself in a strange space – torn between grief and gladness; sorting between sorrow and surrender. My whole life, my grandmother has been a very real and powerful presence. Her faithfulness to our Heavenly Father, paired with the gifts that He birthed within her that she used without restraint, have been the model that I have looked to, and one whom I admire most. Gram has always been the glue that bound our family to one another. Despite differences, each of us has had a unique and treasured gift in the bond that she has formed with us, individually. The ability to see the value in people and set their heart at peace simply by being in her presence, is a trait that drew so many unto her.  She lived a live unrivaled, faithful in all that she endeavored. Gram served her family, her church, her community, and above all, God. The love grown deep in the quiet time on her knees, overflowed to all who knew her. No matter what I was going through, I knew she was covering me in prayer. After ninety-eight years on the earth, and a long year of colon cancer taking root and stealing the independence she had always known, she went home to be with Jesus last night. I am grateful that her suffering was not prolonged, yet grieve not getting one more visit. God is compassionate, and He offers comfort to us as we mourn. Though there is much sorrow for the personal loss of the phenomenal person my grandmother was, it is tempered with great joy in knowing that she is singing with our Savior. No more sorrow, no more pain. I imagine a great celebration as she is reunited with so many who have gone before her. May we all take comfort in the Father of compassion and comfort, as we give praise for the blessings we’ve been given in the time we had.

 

This morning, it seems appropriate that I share one of my grandma’s poems rather than write my own. Her words are likely the echo of what she is singing right now.

 

Song of Praise – by Rosemary Steiner

Glory and majestyPraise in Mourning

To the Lord God,

Who created the Heavens

And the Earth;

And breathed life

Into all creatures,

Even us, His people.

He gave meaning to our being;

He called us brothers

And prepared a place

For us with Him

Eternally.

He breathed life into us,

Transcendent life of the Spirit –

Gave us eyes to see beauty,

Ears to hear truth,

Wills to choose His way.

The heavens reflect His omnipotence

Time without end.

God enjoys the music of the spheres,

But hears our dissonance

With compassion,

How worthy is He.

How infinite His love.

Holy be His Name forever. Amen.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift that so many of us were given through the long and loving life of Gram. Thank You that though we mourn her passing, we can celebrate her homecoming with You. Thank You that we have the blessed hope of being together again for all of eternity in heaven. Forgive us for our fears and regrets, and teach us to trust You so that we might fully live out each of our days, according to Your good and perfect will. Show us how to love with compassion and comfort, all those who grieve. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the faithfulness that has been fulfilled through the life of my grandmother. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give You praise, even as we mourn. Amen.

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

There is a time to cry, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4

Harmony Through Him

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. – (Romans 15:5, NLT)

All patience and encouragement come from God. And I pray that God will help you agree with each other, as Christ Jesus wants. – (Romans 15:5, ERV)

I pray that our God, who calls you and gives you perseverance and encouragement, will join all of you together to share one mind according to Jesus the anointed. – (Romans 15:5, VOICE)

 

I love that God wants for us to live in complete harmony with one another, being like-minded in Him. That is not to say that we are meant to view the world through the same lens, nor to be in agreement on every minute detail, but rather, that our hearts ought to be set on loving God and loving people. If those two things are our priority, the places where we don’t agree, won’t really matter; as we can set aside our differences and choose to love. May we seek the Lord in all things, allowing Him to grant us the patience and encouragement necessary to persevere in the places where love may be difficult to give. Let His light lead us and His heart guide us, so that we may live in harmony with those whom He has places along our path.

 

For patience does come,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To all who choose ask;

Seek the Lord for strength,

To fulfill His task.

He’s asking of us,

To choose to love first;

Seek to understand,

Don’t assume the worst.

When we walk by faith,

Our hearts shall agree;

Where it matters most,

Granting harmony.

As His will is done,

Our hearts are set free;

To live and to love,

In community.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us patience and encouragement so that we may live in harmony with one another as You intend for us to do. Thank You that in order to do so, we need not be clones of one another, nor share the same interests or hobbies, but rather our hearts are meant to be for You and one another to be aligned with Your will. Forgive us for thinking that we have to see eye-to-eye on all things to live in harmony with each other. Teach us to celebrate our different strengths, interests and opinions, knowing that at the end of the day, loving You and loving each other is what matters most of all. Show us how to love You and one another with everything within us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to live in harmony with one another as You intend us to do. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Respect, Love, Fear and Honor

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. – (1 Peter 2:17, NIV)

Show respect for all people. Love your brothers and sisters in God’s family. Respect God, and honor the king. – (1 Peter 2:17, ERV)

 

We are called to kindness and to treat ALL people with proper respect. It is merely a matter of opening one of the many social media site feeds to see that respect for one another is not exactly what rules the roost of our hearts. We do not all have to share the same set of beliefs to treat one another with kindness. The thing that continually has me perplexed, is how slandering the character or choices of a person or people group could ever bring them to believe what is hoped for? When we walk in love, we are imitating what Jesus did. He did not go around screaming at people about how wrong they were in the ways in which they were living, but rather He came close, met the needs that were before Him, and loved. It was by His love, that people came to see and know the truth.

 

Additionally, we are called to love our fellow believers. Though there may be minute differences in how we worship or gather, we are following the same God, and will be spending eternity together. It would benefit us all to choose love now.

 

To fear and respect God, means that we choose to live our lives according to His will, and not our own. If we surrender to Him, our lives will be forever changed, and it will be apparent to all whom we encounter.

 

Though the United States is not an monarchy, we do have a President and governing body that we elect to office. We do not have to agree with every decision that they make, but we are called, biblically, to honor our leaders. It is not our charge to slander anyone, especially those that God has placed in positions of authority over our nation. If we disagree with what is being done, we have the power to pray, to write insightful and respectful letters, and to get involved in local legislation.

 

May we show proper respect to everyone; love well our fellow believers, fear God, and honor our leaders.

 

The Lord has not called,kindness

us to be unkind;

but to show respect,

to all whom we find.

Let’s love each other,

as we’re called to do;

sisters and brothers,

let His light shine through.

Fear the mighty Lord,

give respect that’s due;

for He is the One,

that’s making us new.

Honor those in charge,

they rule for reason;

all need our support,

not acts of treason.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us this verse lived out. Thank You Jesus, that You modeled how to treat all others with proper respect, even when they were not respectful to You. Thank You that You love well, each one of us. Forgive us for omitting any of these things from how we are living, and show us how we can properly respect everyone, love our sisters and brothers in Christ, fear You, and honor our leaders. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will have humble hearts that are willing to listen and obey all that You ask of us. Lead us to love and respect ALL people, no matter how they act toward us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we show proper respect to ALL people, love one another well, fear You, and honor our leaders. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16