A Christmas Prayer

I pray that God, the Source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, NLT)

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in Him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, ERV)

Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in Him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with His super-abundance until you radiate with hope! – (Romans 15:13, TPT)

 

Christmas is a season that reminds us of the hope that we hold in our hearts, and grants opportunities to be refreshed in joy and peace as dear ones gather to celebrate. For many, peace is elusive and joy seems hard to find. Too often the weight of the world rests on the shoulders of those whom were never meant to bear it, and the burdens of life create a barrier to the hope they once held dear. Our charge, as those who are holding fast to this hope, is to allow His joy and peace to flow from us to all whom we meet. It is in each encounter where joy and peace are shared, that glimpses of hope are given, and often reignited in the hearts of those who have lost sight of what they once knew. May we go forth in perfect peace as we trust our Provider, and spread joy because of the hope that we hold close in our hearts.

 

This Christmas I pray, A Christmas Prayer

That the God of peace;

Will renew all hope,

And fresh joy, release.

As we choose to trust,

He comes alongside;

Fills those completely,

Who in Him abide.

Let us draw nearer,

His power receive;

Hope shall overflow,

In all who believe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are our Source of hope, and You fill us with Your joy and peace when we trust in You. Thank You that these things You give to us are not only for us, but You fill us to overflowing, so that those around us may find hope, joy and peace as well. Forgive us for not trusting You completely when our circumstances seem hopeless. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as You are the Overcoming One, who is our hope, no matter what we see. Show us how to love those around us in a way that spreads joy and peace, and extends hope where hope has grown dim. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our Hope and grant us Your joy and peace. Amen.

 

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

 

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

The Master of Peace

May the Master of Peace Himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. May the Master be truly among you! – (2 Thessalonians 3:16, MSG)

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you His peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. – (2 Thessalonians 3:16, NLT)

We pray that the Lord of peace will give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. – (2 Thessalonians 3:16, ERV)

 

Peace can sometimes feel elusive when the season is so full of activities. Though they are good and exciting and enjoyable, they can be stealers of peace if we do not seek to keep our Savior at the center. Despite the lack of daily scheduled routine, my days continue to be filled and busy. The need to begin my day seeking the Lord does not change, and I recognize His peace that is present in places it otherwise would be absent. As I seek Him, I find that His peace follows me throughout my day, and He makes His peace known to me through my interactions with others. May we seek the Lord and His peace in all things, so that in every situation His peace may be made known.

 

The Master of peace,IMG_2491

Is faithful to give;

The grace that we need,

To tranquilly live.

His peace and His grace,

Are ours to receive;

To live and love well,

Show hope to believe.

May our Lord of all,

Be with you always;

Giving You His peace,

As you rise each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord of peace, and that You give Your peace when we call on You. Thank You that You can bring Your peace into the most tumultuous of situations and circumstances because of who You are. Forgive us for forgetting how great You are. Teach us to trust Your peace more than the chaos that we see. Show us how to present Your peace to those around us in turmoil, as we love like You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for peace at all times and in every situation. All glory unto You, our Mighty Source of peace. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

 

My Source of Hope

You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope. – (Psalm 119:114, NLT)

Hide me and protect me. I trust what You say. – (Psalm 119:114, ERV)

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

 

There are days where we need, more than ever, a space where we can sink into His arms and trust, as the world around us doesn’t seem to make sense. Between fighting the “crud” and the looming uncertainty that is now surrounding my profession, I need to remember where my hope comes from. Despite how I feel or what I see, God has me in the palm of His hand. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is far greater than the things that go on in the world. Today, I will choose to trust His protection and provision, as He is my help and my hope. Already, He has made a way for my day to be shortened with a two-hour delay, so rather than having to power through an entire day of not feeling well, it will be a short day, which is far more doable than daunting. As for the coming days, I need to turn in trust for each new day as it comes, and do that which I can do, remembering that my most important priority is and will always remain, to love well, as I am loved by Him. May we trust in the Lord to be our refuge and shield, and allow His word to be our source of hope when hope seems elusive.

 

My refuge and shield,Gods protection

My hope’s in Your word;

No matter what’s seen,

Or news that is heard.

God, You are greater,

Than chaos and greed;

Your heart’s always kind,

And You know our need.

Lord, be our refuge,

Our hope and our source;

Lead us and guide us,

Keep our hearts on course.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and shield of protection. Thank You that Your word is our source of hope. Thank You that no matter what we see or hear, You are greater, and You hold us in Your hands. Forgive us for our fearfulness when things veer off course. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You for wisdom and grace, to know what we are meant to do while things are awry. Show us how to live and love according to Your will, so that many will come to know Your heart and the hope that is held in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust what You say, and place our hope in You. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Teach in Love

The earth is filled with Your love, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. – (Psalm 119:64)

As I prayerfully prepare to greet my new students for the first time today, this verse seems quite fitting. If I learn His decrees and follow His ways, I can be a part of perpetuating His great love that goes out into all the earth. My charge is to begin with one child at a time. Each student that walks through the door of my classroom needs to know that they are safe, valued, cared for, loved, and that an adult on campus believes in their potential. It is no small task to be a champion for children. We must love those who resist it the most, and encourage the elusive and errant, to help them find their way to the road that leads to their greatest success. This is the most rewarding and challenging job on the planet, and even after eighteen first days of new students, I still feel nervous for this one. I am continually challenged to stretch, grow, and discover new and better practices to accommodate the needs of my students. All it takes is one student responding to that which is extended, to know that it is all worth it. Each of us has a call to follow His decrees and recognize and pour out His love to all the earth. Though it seems to be a monumental task, it is really us beginning with one. Who is one person that we can love as Christ loves us? Our neighbor? Our employer? Our coworkers? In Christ, we have the capacity to do as He did, as we are meant to be His hands and heart to the world. May we go forth this day, following His decrees, and love well, all whom we encounter.

Please teach me O Lord,

Cautious & Adventurous last year on the 1st day of school... :)

Cautious & Adventurous last year on the 1st day of school… 🙂

so I too, teach well;

let me love like You,

as in You, I dwell.

Help my eyes to see,

Your love everywhere;

and lead me to love,

the lost in despair.

May my words bring life,

help all kids to know;

that their life matters,

may I help them grow.

Let safety be known,

as they enter in;

and peace overwhelm,

despite where they’ve been.

May love and laughter,

fill my classroom walls;

as we learn and grow,

discovering calls.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of teaching young people. Thank You that parents send us their very best, and we get to love and care for their kids as if they were our own. Thank You that You teach us and grow us in Your ways and Your love, so that we can love others as You call us. Forgive us for fearing failure, as that is a space where You teach us and grow us all the more. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can be transparent with kids, creating a safe space where we learn from failure and build on success. Above all, lead us to love well, so that students leave at the end of the day, in a better place than when they arrived. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn Your decrees and love as You love us. 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

Jesus is…

My pastor began a series yesterday, titled, Jesus is… The intent of the next several weeks is to unpack through scripture, just who Jesus is, and what that means to us, individually. First and foremost, Jesus is God. Again and again, scripture affirms how He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 1:8) Jesus is the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15) Jesus is the exact representation of God. (Hebrews 1:3) Christ is the chief cornerstone in whom all join together to become a holy temple in the Lord. (Ephesians 2:20-21) Scriptures throughout the Bible point to the truth that Jesus is God. The more we understand and learn about who Jesus is, the clearer picture we will have of God. The character of Jesus is the character of God.

 

Many people have a misguided image of God. They perhaps have heard just a part of the story and see God as an angry God. Would an angry God send His Son to restore relationship with people for all time? Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, showed us the heart of the living God. Not only is God loving, but He is a God of compassion too.

 

A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, You can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man, “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. – (Mark 1:40-42)

 

Jesus cared more about a man in his moment of need, than He did about societies social graces. It was unacceptable to touch one considered unclean, yet Jesus touched he who was thought to be untouchable, and healed more than just a physical ailment. Suffering and separation from society ceased, with one tender touch from Jesus. May we hold fast to the truth that our God is compassionate and caring, and that He is willing to touch us, even when we feel that we are untouchable.

 

Invisible God,The Power of His Name

elusive, unseen;

yet so crystal clear,

through Jesus, is seen.

Compassionate Lord,

Who comes close to touch;

to cure what’s ailing,

because He loves much.

Alpha, Omega,

beginning and end;

all the in between,

our Savior and friend.

He’s hope in the hard,

and peace in the storm;

joy in the morning,

and Light all day long.

May we ever seek,

to understand more;

the nature of God,

through Christ’s open door.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us who You are in a tangible way. Jesus, thank You that You made clear that You are the living God. Thank You that the better we come to know You, the more clearly we understand who God is. Forgive us for having misguided opinions or orientations toward You, and help us to set our sights solely on the pursuit of who You are, so that You may instruct us in all things. Teach us to trust You completely, and to listen well to all that You have to say. Lead us to love others as You love – with compassion that is not afraid to reach out and touch, even the seemingly untouchable. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we grow in our understanding of Christ. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

The Path of Perseverance

Though I am a teacher, I have much to learn from my students. One of my favorite observations over the past few weeks has been in that of one of my determined seventh grade Language Arts students. Her grade was a Meeting (traditional grading, a B), but she desperately wanted to demonstrate that she was indeed capable of earning an Excelling. (traditional grading, A) Every opportunity that I provided for students to do rewrites on essays, she took. Each chance to retake a test during lunchtime, she was present. After three or four rewrites on her essay, Miss Perseverance was able to earn the elusive excelling marks on her essay, and brought her entire grade up to that which she had hoped for. None of it had been easy, but she did not give up, and she continued to come back and ask questions until she accomplished all that she was determined to do. Few of my students will likely be as proud as she, when semester report cards go home next week.

 

In our walk with Christ, do we truly persevere to reach His very best, or do we settle for just getting by, or good enough? When life becomes difficult, He calls us to cling to Him, and to continue in His strength. If we cry out to Christ and hide out, we miss seeing the strength that He will provide. If we attempt to power through on our own and neglect to lean on the Lord, we lose the opportunity to witness the wonder of His presence and power in our present circumstances. Perseverance in Christ, is taking His outstretched hand, and allowing Him to lead us through whatever lies before us.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – (James 1:4)

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. – (Thessalonians 3:5)

 

Don’t ever give up,The Path of Perseverance

lean into the Lord;

for He is our strength,

all grace He affords.

Our power when weak,

He’s steadfast and true;

perfect direction,

He will guide us through.

Let perseverance,

finish work in you;

to grow and mature,

in Christ, ever new.

Lacking for nothing,

may God guide our hearts;

in His light and love,

let us do our part.

Witness the wonder,

of all that He is;

in all times and things,

give praise to Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we persevere, You grow us in You. Thank You that Your love is evident, no matter what we face, and Your presence is always with us; we simply need be aware. Forgive us for calling on You, but standing still, or for attempting to power through on our own. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will take Your outstretched hand, and allow You to lead us along this path we trod. Guide our hearts to love others as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come to know the security found in relying on You for guidance and direction. Be glorified O God, as we persevere on the path to which You have called us. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Abide

Abide. What a beautiful, yet at times, elusive word. To remain, continue, stay, or even await, in the context of Christ, is the place my heart hides best. A dear friend has found herself in a space where her only instruction from the Lord is to simply, ABIDE. Since first hearing, I often think about how I am meant to abide as well. My discovery, is that to abide is a daily decision to walk with Him – in His grace, His love and His peace. It does not necessarily come naturally, but rather is rooted in choice after choice after choice.

 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vines, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. – (John 15:4, NKJV)

 

For anything good to come out of us, we must be firmly rooted and established in Christ. May our lives be so intertwined with His, that we cannot help but bear good fruit that lasts. All glory and honor to Him, now and forevermore.

 

Come all you weary,

for He’ll grant us rest;Darkness into Light

come all you broken,

He’ll repair our mess.

As we choose to come,

be still and abide;

allow Him access,

to darkness we hide.

For His light’s greater,

than our dark despair;

healing and wholeness,

He grants us, right there.

Throw out what hinders,

with hearts open wide;

He’s faithful always,

as we choose abide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we abide in You, You abide in us too. Thank You that You are faithful always, and that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You that as we abide in You, You grow us and strengthen us, so that we may be utilized to touch lives on Your behalf. Thank You that You take us as we are, and turn our past struggles into stories of Your faithfulness to share. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations as we face the fire, and grant us Your eyes to see and Your strength to endure. May we live and love in Your strength as we opt to abide in You, and may many lives be changed as they come to know the truth. Be glorified, O God, as we abide. Amen.

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

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