Tag Archive: discern


Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – (Romans 12:2, NLT)

Don’t change yourself to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. – (Romans 12:2, ERV)

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing and complete. – (Romans 12:2, VOICE)

 

This is such an important message for all of us to remember. The media floods us with images of how we should look, popular culture tries to dictate what is acceptable and what is not, and those with whom we surround ourselves, have their own ideas as well. God made each of us with a plan and a purpose. Individually, we are hand-crafted with different talents and gifts to utilize for His glory. The only way to know God’s will and what is good and pleasing and complete according to Him, is to seek Him and pursue the path which He has planned for us. If we allow the world to shape our thoughts, ideals and identity, we will never realize what it is to be transformed from the inside out to live a life that fulfills the purposes of our Heavenly Father. Where the world tells us that we are not enough, Christ tells us that we can do all things in Him, as He will give us strength. May we turn a deaf ear to the shouts of the world’s wooing, and instead listen to the gentle whisper of the voice of the living God, who transforms our hearts and minds and leads us to know all that is good and pleasing and complete.

 

Allow not the world,

Transformed from the Inside Out

Image from favim.com

A place or a voice;

For all that is good,

Comes when God’s our choice.

If we choose listen,

Allow God transform;

Our hearts and our minds,

Hope and strength are born.

It’s in Christ alone,

That we come to know;

The path that is good,

Where completion grows.

So, bend not to things,

The world has to say;

Instead seek the Lord,

And walk in His way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not have to change ourselves to be like what the world expects, but rather we are called to allow You to transform us from the inside out, so that we will know what is good and pleasing and complete according to Your will. Forgive us for allowing what we see or hear to influence how we see ourselves, rather than listening to what You say about who we are and how You see us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would worry not about the world’s approval, but instead that we would continue to further discover our infinite worth in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them to feel valued for who they are, just as they are, rather than if they were a certain way. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they discover who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the patterns of the world that seek to draw us in, and turn to You to transform us from the inside out. Amen.

 

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

 

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

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We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. – (Romans 5:3-4, NLT)

And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that those troubles make us more patient. And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope. – (Romans 5:3-4, ERV)

And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. – (Romans 5:3-4, VOICE)

 

Though all three versions say essentially the same thing, the last part of verse four from the VOICE, really spoke to my heart. It has been an extremely long week in the classroom for me, as I am adjusting to new curriculum, which honestly requires hours of preparation each day, learning how to best help and work with new students, an Open House at the start of the week, (which made for a 14+ hour day), and have had to respond to some serious behavioral challenges that came up in class as the week unfolded. I do not think that I can say that I am rejoicing about the trials, but I am able to see the patience and refining that God is doing through the process, and I find myself hoping for and anticipating God’s goodness through it all. What I know is that I cannot do it all in my own strength. With Him, all things are possible, and great things can be accomplished. Hearts can be changed and minds can be renewed. He has placed me with phenomenal team members who teach the same subject and grade level. Together, we are working to navigate through the new, and the time it takes to discern what needs to be taught and how to best do so, is divided. Additionally, there are extraordinary staff members in roles that mentor, support, encourage and teach the kiddos who are struggling both academically and/or behaviorally, so that they can learn, grow and experience successes in and out of the classroom. May we ever look to the Lord with gratitude for the endurance and strength of character He develops within us, even if we are not yet in a space of celebrating our struggles. May we see the hope that is held in Him, and anticipate God’s goodness as He moves among us.

 

Troubles and trials, Delivering Dreams

Though never much fun;

Serve hearts with purpose,

As battles are won.

These things bring patience,

And patience will show;

The strength from the Lord,

As we learn and we grow.

In this refining,

We learn what it means;

To anticipate,

God’s goodness indeed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we go through trials and troubles, You develop patience and endurance within us. Thank You that strength and hope grow as our characters are refined, and we learn what it truly means to hope and anticipate Your goodness. Forgive us for our frustration with our circumstances. Teach us to press into You, ever seeking and depending on You for strength in the struggles, as You are our Source. Show us how to love well, those around us who are struggling, and how to give strength and hope where there is none to be found. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice in the refining and development of our character that takes place in our trials, and look forward with hope as we anticipate Your goodness that is yet to come. Amen.

 

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

 

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. – (Romans 12:2, ERV)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – (Romans 12:2, NLT)

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete. – (Romans 12:2, VOICE)

 

We are bombarded by information, images and messages that compete for control of our hearts and minds. The influences of the world would have us believe that we must have more, do more and be more. God tells us that we are enough in Him. When we slow down and tune our ears and hearts to His voice, the message we receive is far different. The words the Lord speaks give life and hope and help, drawing us closer to Him, where we may find rest in the very presence of our Creator. Yes, there are some things that we have to do for our jobs, families, and so forth, yet in Christ, we find strength and help and hope that there is more than the mundane of “doing time”. He establishes purpose in all that we do and gives us eyes to see small things that we can do each day. May we stay true to who God has created us to be, and allow Him to be the one to transform us more and more into people who are refined and renewed and ready to do His will.

 

Do not change yourselves, not-defined-by-a-day

To be like the world;

Instead, allow God,

Show His path preferred.

For when we allow,

God on the inside;

He shows us what’s good,

And how to abide.

Let us seek the Lord,

Learn His perfect will;

Be ever renewed,

Find rest and be still.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not need to copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but rather we can seek You and allow You to transform us to be more like You. Thank You that as we seek You, we learn Your will for us, which is good and pleasing before You. Forgive us for folding to the ways of the world, rather than seeking You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk in Your ways and do Your will, even when it does not make sense. Show us how to love those around us in a way that is good and pleasing before You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we let You transform us into the person that You have created us to become. Amen.

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

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

Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge. – (Proverbs 23:12, NLT)

Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge. – (Proverbs 23:12, MSG)

Develop a disciplined life. Be attentive so you can be well informed. – (Proverbs 23:12, VOICE)

 

Just as this is both necessary and beneficial in our day to day life, it is essential in the ever-changing world of education. Not only are the needs of our students changing, but so too are the standards and the curriculum from year to year. Without self-discipline, I would not make it through a single day. Time in the word each morning instructs my heart and soul with reminders of how to love well, and ongoing instruction and interaction with intelligent, innovative colleagues, continues to challenge and refine my craft in the classroom. It is imperative that my ears be open to students and colleagues alike, and God’s grace carries me through the most difficult of days. May we ever be committed to receive instruction, as we listen carefully to words of knowledge that come our way.

 

Let each heart commit,The Word of God

To listen and learn;

So knowledge is heard,

And hearts may discern.

A disciplined life,

Attentive, informed;

So through wisdom’s gain,

Lives will be transformed.

Commit to listen,

Let God filter all;

Knowledge shall follow,

To this, we are called.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we commit ourselves to learn, and listen carefully to instruction, knowledge finds us by Your grace. Thank You that You call us to be well informed and attentive, so that we are aware of the world around us. Forgive us for isolating ourselves or choosing to stay stagnant, when You are calling us to grow. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would ever be committed to learning and growing as we are called by You. Show us how to best develop a disciplined life according to the plan and purpose that You have for us individually. Help us to love others well, so that they too, may come to understand the depth and breadth of You great love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we commit ourselves to disciplined instruction, and have our ears open to the words that come from You. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. – (1 Timothy 4:7)

 

People tell stories that do not agree with God’s truth that seem to have some sort of moral or lesson that is meant to be followed. If it is not in line with what God says in His word, it is not what we are called to follow. Our charge is to devote ourselves to God and spend time in His word. The more we invest in knowing Him and His word, the better we know and understand the truth, and how He is calling us to live. May we invest our hearts and minds into godly training, rather than allowing the tides to carry us to and fro. The Lord has a plan and a purpose for each of us; it is our job to seek Him and obey what He asks, in order to walk it out.

 

The things of the Lord,Generous Giving

are wrapped up in love;

for we have been called,

to seek Christ above.

Any words spoken,

that do not align;

with the word of God,

are not His design.

Do words promote love,

for God and for man?

If so, they’re from Him,

and are meant to stand.

We are called to know,

the Lord and His word;

so we can discern,

each thing that is heard.

O Lord, raise us up,

so that we will know;

Your truth at all times,

as we seek to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to internalize everything we hear, but rather You call us to train ourselves to walk in Your way and know Your truth. Thank You that as we seek You, You show us what is of You, and what is not – granting us discernment so that we will not be tossed to and fro by every new story we hear. Forgive us for getting caught up in anything that is not of You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will clearly hear Your leading and follow after what You would ask of us. Show us how to love others as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we train ourselves to walk in Your ways and invest in Your truth. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Fear in all its fury, can be a catalyst for change. When we take pause and really look at the source, Christ will lead us to a place of understanding whether it is a healthy fear that is from Him, placed in us to compel us to action, or if it is some sort of terror that is tormenting our hearts, straight from the pit of hell. In order to know the difference, we must be willing to be transparent about the fear that we are facing. There are times when it is an obvious nudge from our Heavenly Father, yet there are other times where we may need to actually unpack that which has us frozen or ready to take flight, with others who are faithfully following Christ.

 

O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. – (Psalm 139:1-4)

 

We are known and loved so completely, that we need not remain frozen in fear. He sees, knows and hears all that we face, feel and endure. God even is aware of our response to all that comes our way, before we ever respond. To be known and loved so completely, leaves no room remaining for fear to have a foothold. May we rise up in faith, giving our every fear to our Heavenly Father, and allow Him to grant us the fortitude to face all that comes our way.

 

In fear’s ugly grip,Our Map and Our Guide

let us not remain;

for Christ is our strength,

and His freedom reigns.

O Lord, You have searched,

and know me so well;

You know every thought,

the words I will tell.

Thank You in that space,

of being well known;

You strengthen our hearts,

as Your grace is shown.

Let Your strength arise,

and give our heart wings;

so that we may soar,

and of Your truth sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have searched us and You know us, and yet You love. Thank You that in You, we need not fear. Thank You that despite the unknowns and awful that come at us, You are present and You are greater. Forgive us for freezing up in our fear, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to bring our every fear before You, and to speak out to others, when we are meant to share the burden that is too heavy for us to carry alone. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we too, will help others bear burdens that they are unable to withstand alone. Show us how to support, love and pray for one another as You would have us do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we face every fear in Your strength, confident of Your love and faithfulness. 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

After Peter and the other apostles had been arrested for sharing the good news of Jesus in the temple courts, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and set them free to return to sharing the message of hope. The next day, the religious leaders were up in arms, as they found the cell still locked and guarded, yet the men were free and back to preaching, once again. Brought before the Sanhedrin and high priest for questioning, the apostles answered with wisdom and courage. Religious leaders were so infuriated with their response, that they wanted to put them to death at once. However, one Pharisee, Gamaliel, who was greatly honored and admired by all, stood up and spoke. “…Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” – (Acts 5:38-39)

 

There is much to be gleaned from this particular passage. Three things stand out to me the most.

(1) What God calls us to do, He will make a way, even in the face of great adversity.

(2) If we are doing God’s work, He will be with us.

(3) We ought not get in the way of anyone pursuing what they feel God has called them to do. If it is of their own origin, it will likely fail. If it is from God, why on earth would we stand in the way?

 

The call of the Lord,Who Wants to Fight

not for faint of heart;

it takes all our trust,

to each do our part.

The path we’re to walk,

won’t always be smooth;

yet God is faithful,

His goodness He’ll prove.

Stand not in the way,

of those who pursue;

what they feel that God,

has asked them to do.

If what they pursue,

is their origin;

then it’s sure to fail,

before they begin.

Yet if it’s from God,

stand not in their way;

for who wants to fight,

the Lord any day?

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we pursue the path You have placed before us, You are present and walk beside us. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, who speaks to our hearts and minds, leading and guiding us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Forgive us for not listening well, or for questioning the calling of others. Grant us Your wisdom to discern that which is from You, and that which is not. Teach us to trust You more in all things and at all times. Lead us to love well, just as You so completely love each of us. May many eyes be opened to the light of Your truth, and hearts tender to receive all that You have to offer. Be exalted O God, as we pursue the path You have placed before us, trusting You no matter the terrain. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. – (Acts 5:38-39)

 

Though Gamaliel was a member of the council whom Peter and John were standing before on trial, he became an unlikely ally when he spoke the wise words above. Gamaliel recognized that if these men were moving in their own strength, that they would not be sustained for very long, and the whole movement would soon die out. However, if it was in fact a true manifestation and movement of the living God, then there would be no stopping it anyway. His wise council gave the disciples room to breathe, as they continued to faithfully follow that which they had been called to do. Many of the movements that people claim are from God that occur today, must also be approached in much the same way. Watch, wait, and see if it stands the test of time. If it is of God, there will be no stopping the power of His presence as He moves mightily through His people. Likewise, if it is of human origin, it will not be sustained, and will quickly lose momentum and fade away. May God grant us the wisdom to know when to wait and see, and when to walk away from that which is not of Him. Let us have Your heart to discern what is good and pleasing before You, O God.

 

The power of God,Bless You

propels us to move;

to step out in faith,

and plainly speak truth.

When others speak out,

words leave us unsure;

seek God for wisdom,

the truth shall endure.

Weigh everyone’s words,

with the Word of truth;

allow His Spirit,

to shine His light through.

Where Christ’s light reflects,

we can clearly see;

what we should embrace,

and from what to flee.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us wisdom and discernment when we earnestly seek You. Thank You that there are times when we must wait and see whether or not something is truly a movement from You, or if it is a movement of men. Thank You that You are good, and that You guard our hearts and minds, as we fix our eyes on You. Forgive us for our misconceptions that we may be holding onto, and please shine Your light and reveal to us what is true. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may release our wrong thinking and embrace everything You have for us to hold fast in our hearts. Lead us to love others as You so tenderly love each of us. May many come to know the power and presence available to all who call on Your Name, personally. Be glorified, O God, as we seek Your wisdom and truth. 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

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. – (I Timothy 4:7, NIV)

 

People tell silly stories that don’t agree with God’s truth. Don’t follow what these stories teach. But teach yourself to be devoted to God. – (I Timothy 4:7, ERV)

 

Godless myths and old wives’ tales are made up stories that are meant to have a message, yet they are missing an essential element: the truth of God’s word. Investing our time and energy in such things does nothing for our spiritual development, nor for the deepening of our relationship with our Redeemer. Instead, we ought to focus our time and energy on digging deeper in His word, and seeking to understand His truth; allowing Him to lead and direct our every step. He is faithful to answer as we ask, and will train us in the ways we are meant to go, if we choose to humbly seek Him. May we fix our hearts and minds on God, being devoted to Him in all things, so that we may become more like Him each day.

 

Look to the Lord,Forget Foolishness and Follow Him

in all of your ways;

allow not myths,

to lead you astray.

Such foolishness,

leads to agony;

yet seeking Christ,

shall set the heart free.

Invest your heart,

your soul and your mind;

all unto Christ,

so His truth you’ll find.

The investment,

is worth the return;

future secure,

His heart to discern.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and invest our hearts, minds and souls in the pursuit of becoming who You have created us to be, You make us more like You. Thank You that You train us in the way we are meant to go, if we willingly submit to You. Thank You that You provide Your word, Your Holy Spirit, and godly wisdom in trusted individuals that You place in our lives. Forgive us for giving ear to any foolishness, and give us hearts to discern clearly, that which is from You, and that which is not. May we walk in Your wisdom and truth as we love all whom You place on our path. May many come to know the saving grace that is found in You alone, as they turn away from foolishness, and toward Your eternal truth. Be glorified, O God, as we train ourselves to be as You call us to be. 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

 

 

 

Hardened hearts struggle to hear the still small voice within.  When we become cold and calloused to the world, whispers seem impossible to discern.  However, when we are in constant communion with Christ, our hearts remain tender and receptive toward Him.

As the story of Moses continues in Exodus, I have arrived at the passage where he and Aaron are told by God to go to Pharaoh to again ask to let the people go.  God warns them that Pharaoh’s heart will be hard, so He tells them to speak of the impending plague that will befall the Nile, if Pharaoh refuses to allow the people to go.  Pharaoh, of course chooses to not allow the people their freedom, and Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded, and all the water in the Nile changed into blood.  “But the Egyptian magicians did the same by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.” – (Exodus 7:22)

Pharaoh responded in the same way to plagues of frogs, gnats, and flies.  Though he would call out to Moses and Aaron in the midst of the struggle, and began to seem as though he was willing to allow the people to go, the moment relief was found, his heart was again hardened and his mind set against their going.

Often, we are just like Pharaoh.  Our hearts are hardened until a need is present, and then – then we are ready and willing to call on Christ.  Suddenly, we are passionately pursuing the One we have all but forgotten for so long.  When the crisis is over and all is well, we set Him aside and go back to business as usual.  No more.  I am not called to live like Pharaoh.  My example of how to be in a right relationship with God, is found through Jesus.  He lived out His days loving God, and loving people.  Detours and difficulty did not deter Him from that call.  Always, even as He was hanging on the cross between two criminals, with one hurling insults at Him – He chose to love.  May our hearts be ever tender towards Christ, and may we live out our days, loving God and people, just as we are loved by Him.

Let not our hearts,Let Not Our Hearts

become cold and hard;

self-sufficient,

to Him, no regard.

Rather, let’s love,

as He has loved us;

with heart’s tender,

open to Jesus.

May our ears hear,

the tender small voice;

that will direct,

if we seek His choice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You sent Your Son to suffer and die in our place.  Thank You that You made the way for us to enter into a relationship with You, not just for now, but one that lasts into eternity.  Forgive us for being fickle in our faith, or for hardening our hearts to hearing You.  Help us to be plugged in and present, so that our hearts may be tender and full of trust in You.  May we love as You love us, and may many come to know the blessings found in belonging to You.  May the words of our mouth and the direction of our path, be pleasing unto You.  Amen.

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

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