Joyful Wonder

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. – (Psalm 65:8, NIV)

People all around the world are amazed at the wonderful things you do. You make all the people east and west, sing with joy. – (Psalm 65:8, ERV)

Those who inhabit the boundaries of the earth are awed by Your signs, strong and subtle hints of Your indelible presence. Even the dawn and dusk respond to You with joy. – (Psalm 65:8, VOICE)

Last evening, we arrived in a wooded wonderland. As my sisters and I unloaded our belongings and groceries into our tiny home for the weekend, I was in awe of both our accommodations and surroundings. Between the sound of the rain on the roof and the creek outside, the soothing sounds of creation comforted as we all spent the evening catching up and sharing life. Evening faded and we were all lulled to sleep by the surrounding sounds. This morning, I slept in (for me) and woke feeling fully rested and ready to embrace the gift of more time that we each have been provided. We are each in awe of the wonder of the world that surrounds us, and joyfully grateful for the gift of time we have been granted together. May we ever take in the beauty around us and sing praise with joy for the blessings He provides.

The world around us,

Is beauty and grace;

Abundant blessings,

Are the good Lord’s ways.

Gifts of His goodness,

Wherever we go;

People and places,

How His love is shown.

With joy, may we sing,

All thanks and give praise;

For all the wonders,

O Ancient of Days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the overwhelming blessings that You provide us through all that Your hands have made. Thank You for the gift of time with loved ones and the beauty of creation that surrounds us. Forgive us for the times that we do not pause and appreciate the goodness and glory of all that You have made. Teach us to slow down and sit in awe at the wonder of Your works. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make time to joyfully give You thanks and praise for the beauty that surrounds us through all that Your hands have made. Amen.

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Ever Present with Love

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. – (Psalm 86:5, NIV)

My Lord, You are good and merciful. You love all those who call to You for help. – (Psalm 86:5, ERV)

O Lord, You are good and ready to forgive; Your loyal love flows generously over all who cry out to You. – (Psalm 86:5, VOICE)

I am so grateful that God is ever present to help, forgive and love us as we call on His Name. His goodness and mercy are not dependent on our worthiness, but rather His love, mercy and grace cleanse us from all of our sin and make us worthy in His sight. The love that He has for us is so abundant, that it is meant to overflow to those around us. May we ever call on the Lord to be our help, hope, and grace, that we too, may extend mercy, goodness, and love to all those around us.

My Lord, You are good,

Loving, merciful;

You’re faithful to all,

Who upon You, call.

With wide open arms,

In love, You embrace;

Each as we choose come,

In trust, seek Your face.

It is as we seek,

That truly we find;

Your goodness and grace,

Always You are kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to boldly approach Your throne. Thank You that You hear us, see us, love and help us, each time we call on Your Name. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we cannot see how You are present to move in our circumstances. Teach us to trust in Your faithfulness and love, for You have promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we call on You in all things and at all times, and extend the very same goodness to all whom we encounter. Amen.

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

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Joy and Laughter

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – (Job 8:21, NIV)

So perhaps you might laugh again. Maybe shouts of joy will come from your lips. – (Job 8:21, ERV)

He will fill your mouth with laughter; your lips will spill over into cries of delight. – (Job 8:21, VOICE)

Though Job’s friends were not the greatest at responding to the devastation and loss that he had experienced, this verse was spot on, as in the end, all that Job had lost was restored and then some. Joy and laughter were restored after such heartache, trials, and loss. Last evening, as my love and I attended his sister’s annual Christmas party, we were both in a space where laughter was needed. Gathering with family and friends, we were able to enjoy the company, love and laughter that burst forth when dear ones get together. There was much laughter, and the joy that dwells deep within, was reminded to surface. Today, I anticipate more laughter and reasons to shout for joy, as we will gather with our church family, and after, I will have the pleasure of time together with dear ones from college group that I met a few decades ago. I am so thankful for the opportunities God brings to grant us laughter and to remind us of the joy we have in and through Him. The people He places in our lives grant us reason to delight.

The gift of laughter,

Reminds us that joy;

An ongoing gift,

That love does employ.

For time together,

With laughter and love;

Show us God’s goodness,

His grace understood.

Trial or triumph,

God’s joy is the same;

Found in the blessings,

As we call His Name.

Joy’s not dependent,

On our circumstance;

It’s found in Jesus,

Not by happenstance.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what is going on around us or what lies before us, we can trust that there will be laughter and joy again. Thank You that joy in You exists even on our darkest days. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed the weight of our circumstances to steal our joy. Teach us to hold fast to the hope we have in You, for it is in that space of hope that we know and understand the joy in the promise of forever in Your presence. Teach us to choose to embrace the joy we have in You, and to allow love and laughter to overflow from our gratitude to You. Show us how to love those around us in ways that remind them that love and laughter, joy and peace are present when we know Your nearness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all praise for the joy we know in You, and for the love and laughter that You provide through those You place in our lives. Amen.

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

But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. – Psalm 5:11

The Throne of Grace

This is a post from a few years ago, yet is so timely right now…

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it. – (Hebrews 4:16, ERV)

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. – (Hebrews 4:16, VOICE)

 

This is a timely reminder this morning, as I find myself on the brink of burnout. It is easy to remember to approach God on His throne of grace to petition on behalf of those around me, but I don’t think that I go before God often enough for the mercy and grace that I truly need. Don’t get me wrong, I pray for strength to get through the day and patience to persevere; but really boldly stepping into His throne room to rest and refresh and meet my own deepest needs – seldom, to rarely, at best. Perhaps it is a matter of looking for ways to keep a Sabbath. Rest is not my forte, and to do so would require serious intentionality. To find grace and mercy and help when we need it most, looks different for each person. For me, I feel closest to our Creator when I am outside in the beauty that He has made. When my body is moving, my mind and heart are able to find rest. For others, rest is a matter of being still. What does appear to be clear is that I need to make time to be intentionally in a space where my heart and mind are fixed on God, just being present (without studying, writing, or any sort of specific doing), so that His mercy, grace and help may be made tangibly known. May we each be intentional to step boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may find mercy and grace and help when we need it most.

 

Go to the throne room, Made With Purpose

Seek God and His grace;

Rest in His presence,

Receive His embrace.

For as we choose rest,

Let our minds be still;

God’s goodness and help,

Floods as mercy fills.

Choose set aside time,

By grace, enter in;

Be refreshed in love,

It’s where peace begins.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with an everlasting love. Thank You that You made the way through Your Son, so that we can come before Your throne and be in Your presence, and You grant us mercy and grace and the help we are needing. Thank You that You are greater than every challenge we face, and that You provide Your help and presence, with mercy and grace. Forgive us for not being intentional to seek time just being present with You. Teach us how to rest in You. Show us what it means to find rest and refreshment in Your throne room. Lead us to love those around us in a way that encourages, strengthens and refreshes where weariness is setting in. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and are forever grateful that we can come into Your presence and receive mercy and grace and help. Amen.

 

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

 

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5

Living Love

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. – (1 John 4:11-12, NIV)

That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us. If we love each other, God’s love has reached its goal – it is made perfect in us. – (1 John 4:11-12, ERV)

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and His love becomes complete in us – perfect love! – (1 John 4:11-12, MSG)

God’s love is made evident as we choose to love one another. His love is perfect and complete. The more we seek Him to lead us in love, the better we reflect His heart to the world and show those around us who He is. Though none of us are perfect in love, we are all loved perfectly by God. As we embrace His goodness and grace, we are better equipped to love others well. May we ever seek the Lord and receive His perfect love, and then go and love those around us in the same way.

God’s love is made clear,

As we choose to love;

It chases off fear,

All grace from above.

His love is perfect,

He loves perfectly;

With loving kindness,

He sets our hearts free.

Set free from the things,

That keep us from love;

And shows us the way,

That we each are loved.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love is perfect and Your heart for us is to reflect Your love to the world. Forgive us for the times that we have not chosen nor reflected Your love to those around us. Teach us to embrace the goodness and grace that You lavishly give so that we too, may love as You intended us to love. Show us new ways to love those around us well, so that Your heart would be made evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love each other with Your love that lives in us. Amen.

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

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2

Where Love is Evident

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

Lord, Your faithful love fills the earth. Teach me Your laws. – (Psalm 119:64, ERV)

Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by Your counsel. – (Psalm 119:64, MSG)

Though there are many places and spaces where it feels as though there is no love to be found, it takes but a moment to slow down and truly look and see all the good that God has placed around us. It is knowing the goodness of His love that compels me to want to learn and grow each day to more clearly reflect His heart to the world. We all are a work in progress, yet as we pursue Him and recognize the love that He has for us all, one cannot help but to desire to do likewise. May we ever seek the Lord to recognize the goodness of His love, and seek after Him to show us how to live according to His counsel.

The love of the Lord,

Is beyond compare;

His goodness and grace,

Are found ev’rywhere.

Each time we seek Him,

The Lord will be found;

Present, He helps us,

His kindness is sound.

It is God’s great love,

That leads us to seek;

To walk in His ways,

Follow His decrees.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love is evident everywhere. Thank You that it is Your kindness that compels us to walk in Your way and do Your will. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to love or avoided the things that You were calling us to do. Teach us to trust You and to listen to Your leading so that we may truly walk in the light of Your love. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the grace that You give and recognize the overwhelming love all around us that leads us to desire to do likewise. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. – Psalm 25:4

Confident Hope

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, ERV)

Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. – (Hebrews 11:1, VOICE

Faith is a necessary component to all that we do. When we marry, though we cannot actually see the future or know how life will unfold, we can trust God and have faith that He has brought us together for a purpose and on purpose. With children, we trust in the hope that we have for them to grow and thrive, though we cannot see nor predict the future. By faith, we rise each new day and do our best, trusting that God will do more than we could ever do on our own. Confident hope in Christ and all that He has done for us, is the faith we need to navigate our days well. Just as we cannot see the wind, we know it is there as we see the evidence through how things move. It is the same with Christ. Though we cannot see Him, we can see evidence of His goodness and love all around us. May we hold fast to our faith in Christ, for all that is hoped for comes through Him, and He is the blessed assurance of all that is still unseen.

Faith comes in knowing,

Our hope is secure;

Not in things we see,

In Him, who is near.

Though we can’t see Him,

We know He is true;

His grace and His love,

Are found in plain view.

As the sun rises,

Each day as we wake;

We have a fresh start,

New hope to embrace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can have faith in You, for we are assured of the hope held in You, even though we cannot see You. Thank You that there is clear evidence of who You are and how You love, all around us. Forgive us for our lack of faith when troubles come. Teach us to trust You more, for You are always moving on our behalf, even when we cannot see or fathom what You are doing. Show us how to love and encourage those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to the faith we have in You, for our confident hope is held in Your heavenly hands. Amen.

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

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6

Sight to the Seeking

I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the work of His vast strength. – (Ephesians 1:18-19, HCSB)

I pray that God will open your minds to see His truth. Then you will know the hope that He has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised His holy people are rich and glorious. And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. – (Ephesians 1:18-19, ERV)

Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. – (Ephesians 1:18-19, VOICE)

Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus applies to all of us still today. The more our eyes are opened to see His truth, the more we understand the hope we have in Him. His power goes beyond what our minds can conceive, and His blessings are ever-present through His nearness and His mighty love. This is not only in the here and now, but also in the hope of what is to come throughout eternity with Him. God has granted each of us a free will. For those who choose to believe and receive all that He offers, all of these things are given unto us – open eyes to the light of truth, hope that holds us up, power that will work in us, and the blessings beheld in His presence with us. May we ever seek the Lord to open the eyes of our heart, so that we may understand and embrace who He is and how He loves.

May eyes be opened,

To the light of truth;

To God’s great power,

That will see us through.

To see the blessings,

Of love and of grace;

His endless power,

The Ancient of Days.

Hope that is made known,

As we understand;

His loving kindness,

And eternal plan.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You open the eyes of our hearts to come to know and understand who You are and how You love. Thank You that Your power is greater than anything that stands against us, and Your goodness outweighs the struggles we face. Thank You that not only do we get to behold the blessings found in You in the here and now, but we hold fast to the hope that is held in all of eternity in Your presence. Forgive us for forgetting that what we face here is temporary, and the hope we hold is what lasts forever. Teach us how to keep an eternal perspective on all of our days. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness, power and blessings evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continue to seek You to grow us in understanding of who You are and how You love us all. Amen.

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

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. – Matthew 6:33

Fend Off Sin and Do Good

Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it. – (Psalm 34:14, HCSB)

Stop doing anything evil, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. – (Psalm 34:14, ERV)

Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace – don’t let it get away! – (Psalm 34:14, MSG)

Sometimes doing good is walking away from a fight that is tempting, and choosing to only engage when kindness can be extended. Our charge is to seek peace, not get sucked into petty disputes. The best way to do this is to pursue God and His will. Often, when I begin to get angry or frustrated with someone, God stops me in my tracks and I find myself asking Him to show me His heart for them. What I have discovered each time that I have done so, there is a softening in me toward the other. Usually, I discover that the very behavior that got under my skin, was motivated by their own hurts. Does it make it right? No, but it does provide compassion and the capacity to respond gently with goodness and kindness. This is a lifelong process to pursue, not a one-and-done in a tough space. May we ever seek the Lord to help us stop doing the things we ought not do, and do the good that He calls us into. In the process, may we find His peace and embrace it.

Turn from temptation,

To do what’s not right;

Demean or put down,

Jump into a fight.

Instead, seek the Lord,

Allow Him to lead;

Choose extend the good,

That His word decrees.

Embrace the Lord’s peace,

As it enters in;

For as we listen,

We fend away sin.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, loving and a promoter of peace. Thank You that as we seek You, You give us Your heart for others and help us turn away from the sin that so easily entangles us. Forgive us for allowing our pride to get the better of us so that we walk into a war that need not be waged. Show us Your heart for those around us so that we might see them through Your eyes. Lead us to extend goodness and kindness to those around us as we embrace Your perfect peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk away from the sin that attempts to creep in, and lead us to embrace Your peace as we seek You to do the good that we have been called to do. Amen.

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

If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, go and tell them what they did wrong. Do this when you are alone with them. If they listen to you, then you have helped them to be your brother or sister again. – Matthew 18:15

Adventurously Expectant

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” – (Romans 8:15, HCSB)

The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father.” – (Romans 8:15, ERV)

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next, Papa?” – (Romans 8:15, MSG)

You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. – (Romans 8:15, VOICE)

I included four different translations, as I appreciate what can be gleaned from each. When we invite God to be the Lord of our life, He gives us His Spirit to dwell in us and lead us into all that He has prepared for us. It is not a thing that makes us obedient robots, but rather is the Spirit within us that helps us recognize who our loving Heavenly Father is, and grants us an adventurously expectant heart that eagerly awaits all that Daddy God has for us. No matter what our earthly experience is with fathers, our Heavenly Father is loving and kind, and only has good in mind for us. He is our help and our hope, and welcomes us with strong and loving arms. God is ever-present, and is never too busy to hear and help us. May we seek the Lord to show us more and more of His Father’s heart for us, so that we may embrace His grace and follow wherever He leads with eager expectation.

The Spirit of God,

Our sweet Tali girl, ever expecting adventure. ❤

Ought not to be feared;

But rather embraced,

In love, be revered.

Ultimate Father,

Full of love and grace;

He leads and guides us,

As we seek His face.

Our help and our hope,

Wherever we go;

The Dad that loves us,

Where true peace is known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You adopt us into Your family when we invite You to be the Lord of our lives. Thank You that You are loving and kind, and that You have good in mind for us all. Forgive us for associating Your Father’s heart with that of broken earthly examples. Teach us by Your Spirit how You are perfect love, and the One that never fails us. Show us how to love as You love, and help us to make Your heart known to those around us by our every word and deed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for being our Abba Father, and for the Spirit You give us to make Your loving kindness tangible within. Amen.

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

Your decrees inspire wonder; because of that, my soul desires to keep them. – Psalm 119:129