United Purposeful Paths

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, NIV)

Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don’t be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, CEB)

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Be restored as one united body living in perfect harmony. Form a consistent choreography among yourselves, having a common perspective with shared values. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, TPT)

 

Assumption is the path to destruction in spaces where unity is being sought. Instead, we must seek to understand one another to find common ground and purpose, so that we may be united rather than divided – as shared perspectives and values accomplish much. That is not to say that values ought to ever be compromised, but rather they need to be heard to search for common ground to identify a starting point. The more that we come together, the more often we discover our purpose and intent is seeking the same outcome. May we seek the Lord’s wisdom to be united rather than divided, so that we may be restored as a body that lives together in harmony and aligned purpose.

 

Brothers and sisters, United Purposeful Paths

Let us choose pursue;

Purpose united,

So division’s through.

Together in thought,

Let minds be renewed;

New harmony found,

In common values.

Let’s seek understand,

As we are made new;

Shoulder to shoulder,

In grace, living true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to live united, not divided. Thank You that You call us to seek common purpose, perspective and values so that we may accomplish much in Your Name. Forgive us for fixating on the little things that are insignificant rather than those that last forever. Teach us to have an eternal perspective, so that we would view things through Your lens. Show us how to see people and situations through Your eyes, so that we would be able to hear and understand where common ground can be found. Help us to love others in a way that helps create unity and restoration. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to be united in purpose with those whom You have placed on our path. 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

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Expectant Hope

So, prepare your minds for service. With complete self-control put all your hope in the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ comes. – (1 Peter 1:13, ERV)

So, prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the glorious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. – (1 Peter 1:13, NLT)

So, get yourselves ready, prepare your minds to act, control yourselves, and look forward in hope as you focus on the grace that comes when Jesus the Anointed returns and is completely revealed to you. – (1 Peter 1:13, VOICE)

 

Each new day that we draw breath, we are meant to be ready to live out our faith with expectant hope. To do so, we ought to exercise self-control and ready our minds to serve, remembering not only the grace that we have been given, but all of the hope that is yet to come. Though God gives great gifts in the here and now, the best is yet to come through that which will be eternal – our promised presence with our Provider forever. Imagine a place where there is always peace and never pain, surrounded by His love and light, the true King shall reign. This, this is reason to prepare our minds and exercise self-control, for our hope is held in that which is eternal. May we rise each day with expectant hope, and ready our hearts and minds to walk out our day according to His way.

 

Let’s prepare our minds, Enter With Thanksgiving

To rise up and serve;

Give as we’ve received,

Though much undeserved.

Use all self-control,

Granted by His grace;

So we may love well,

In every place.

May all of our hope,

Be held in the gift;

Of His saving grace,

Where forever is.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our eternal hope through the salvation that You offer. Thank You that we can trust our forever in You. Forgive us for not setting our sights on the eternal, as so often what lies before us seems so overwhelming. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may have an eternal perspective, keeping our hope fixed on our forever with You. Show us how to prepare our minds for service, and grant us the strength to have self-control. Help us to love well all those whom we encounter, so that they too, might see the hope that is found in You forever. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we put all of our hope in You and accept the gift of Your gracious salvation that is available for all who choose to receive. 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

An Eternal Perspective

But as the Scriptures say, “No one has ever seen, no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (1 Corinthians 2:9, ERV)

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)

That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it – What God has arranged for those who love Him. – (1 Corinthians 2:9, MSG)

 

As humans, we are creatures who crave comfort. Often, our desire to be comfortable leads us to labor and toil, fret and fear, to the point that we neglect to recognize the blessings we already have, and the hope held in what is yet to come. We are called to live and love well with each of our days as they come, as God has our ultimate destination prepared for us. Yes, we need to be wise with what we are given, but we need not worry about the final outcome, if we have placed our lives in His hands. May we lean into the Lord and trust in His leading, knowing that what lies ahead is far greater than anything that we could ever hope or imagine.

 

No eye’s ever seen,The Reason for Reverence

All God has prepared;

Glimpses of greatness,

Found in love that’s shared.

No ear has yet heard,

Heaven’s full glory;

Yet we know the hope,

Salvation story.

Our minds can’t conceive,

All God has prepared;

For those who love Him,

Our hearts can’t compare.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the love and grace and hope that You give us now, and the promised future that we cannot even begin to imagine. Forgive us for forgetting how temporary our time here is compared to all of eternity with You. Teach us to have an eternal perspective, so that we would keep our priorities where they belong. Show us how to live and love in a way that gives others help and hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we live each day with an eternal perspective. 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

Exalt the Lord Forever

I will exalt You, my God and King, and praise Your Name forever and ever. I will praise You every day; yes, I will praise You forever. – (Psalm 145:1-2, NLT)

 

There is no one, nor anything that deserves our praise like the Lord. All that we see and know that are good, are the work of His mighty hands. He loves us to life in ways beyond what we can see, and helps, keeps and strengthens us so that we are able to do abundantly more than we would have hoped or imagined. For these reasons and more, may praise ever be present in our hearts and on our lips.

 

Let each heart rise up,Presenting Our Praise

Exalt God the King;

Praise His Holy Name,

By grace, let us sing.

Sing of His wonder,

Declare His great grace;

Forever give praise,

As we seek His face.

Lord, every day,

We bring praise to You;

For all that You are,

And all that You do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much, that You made the way for us to be restored to a right relationship with You. Thank You that You are worthy of all of our praise forever, and that You receive what we offer, each time we come before You. Forgive us for not giving You the glory that is due, and help us to have an eternal perspective, so that we would be mindful of all that You are and all that You do in and for us, daily. Show us how to love others well, so that they might come to know the truth of who You are and how generously You love and care for us all. May many choose to enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we exalt You forever. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

 

 

 

 

Setting Sight on Unseen

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT)

So we think about what we cannot see, not what we see. What we see only lasts a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, ERV)

So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, VOICE)

 

Although the struggles we face in the here and now can often feel unending, they are but the blink of an eye, in comparison to all of eternity. Our hope is held not in what we see right now, but rather in the hope we know through Christ. What we have in Christ is eternal, and His promises and goodness do not end. The troubles of this life will all one day pass away, but the love and grace of God will remain. Heaven awaits all who trust in Him, and the sweetness of what our Savior has prepared for us, far surpasses anything that we can even begin to imagine. May we hold fast to the hope that our hearts know but do not yet see, and release that which we cannot control in the here and now. Let every heart focus on the Eternal, rather than that which is fleeting and will soon fade away.

 

Let’s not fix our eyes,Marvelously Made

on what comes today;

but rather look up,

ahead to hope’s stay.

For what we see now,

will soon fade away;

but what is not seen,

will last for always.

The Lord is our hope,

in Him we can trust;

all our tomorrows,

for He’s God with us.

What He has prepared,

far greater than this;

look not to what’s now,

trust in being His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not focus on what is seen, but rather on that which is not. Thank You that our hope is held in the truth that we know in You, not in what we see and experience in the here and now. Thank You that all the trials will one day fade away, and what awaits forever, far outweighs any struggles that we face today. Forgive us for not maintaining an eternal perspective when we face trials of any kind. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to the hope that we know we have forever in You. Lead us to lay down our burdens at Your feet, allowing You to carry the things that we are not meant to carry. Show us how to love one another in such a way, that others too, may see with their hearts, rather than merely what their eyes view in the present. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen with our eyes, but rather must be felt with a faithful heart. 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

Blessed are the Invited

As another year comes to a close, I again find myself at the end of Revelation. This morning, the verse that stood out to me is as follows: Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” – (Revelation 19:9) Those of us who love the Lord and walk with Him, are blessed and invited to the ultimate celebration. At the end of days, all who stand firm in faith in our Heavenly Father, will be blessed beyond what we can fathom.

 

Jesus gave us glimpses of what is yet to come throughout His ministry on earth. My Father’s house has many rooms, if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – (John 14:2-3) John further unpacks what awaits in Revelation 21:9 – 22:5. Though much unpleasantness, many trials and tribulations will come to pass between now and then, we have the promised assurance of our final outcome. Our time here is fleeting, yet our time with Christ is eternal. Let us hold fast to the promises of the truth of God’s word as we march forward into 2015.

 

Most blessed are those,IMG_0653
invited to come;
to the wedding feast,
to sup with the Son.
Those who love the Lord,
to the end of days;
steadfast in His truth,
and faithful always.
Not by our own strength,
but trusting in His;
loving as we’re loved,
doing as He says.
The Lord is so good,
and great His reward;
for all who trust Him,
and walk in accord.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite what we see around us, the outcome has already been determined and the battle, already won! Thank You that You receive us as we are when we come to You, and You claim us as Your own. Thank You that You are faithful and true, and that You grow us in understanding as we seek to know You more. Thank You that regardless of what this life holds, our eternity will be beyond blessed. Thank You that we have the blessing of Your presence in the here and now, as well as the promises of what is yet to come. Forgive us for losing sight of both. Teach us to trust You more, so that we live each day with an eternal perspective. Lead us to love as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You in the coming year. Be glorified Lord God, as we go forth operating in the gifts that You have granted us, living with an eternal perspective. Amen.

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

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” – Revelation 21:5a

The Unchanging Nature of God

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, NIV)

 

God wanted to prove that His promise was true. He wanted to prove this to those who would get what He promised. He wanted them to understand clearly that His purposes never change. So God said something would happen, and He proved what He said by adding an oath. These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when He says something, and He cannot lie when He makes an oath. So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, ERV)

 

If God says it, He does it. Who He is, will not change. We can trust God to be true to both His nature and His word. Our hope is secure forever in Him. May we grasp the truth that we are sons and daughters – heirs of God – called His children, promised both His presence now and a permanent place dwelling with Him forever, in Heaven. Because He does not change, neither should our hold on hope.

 

True to His word,The Unchanging Nature of God

His promises true;

He will not change,

nor lie unto you.

He is safe space,

to Whom we can run;

our hope to hold,

’til our day is done.

Heaven awaits,

for the faithful ones;

those who choose trust,

as daughters and sons.

Rise up in hope,

children of the King;

may our lives be,

pleasing offerings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not change and that You keep Your promises forever. Thank You that You are a space of safety whom we can run to, and are faithful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that not only do You forgive and redeem us, but You adopt us as sons and daughters; heirs of Your holy inheritance. Thank You that when we choose to place our trust in You, our hope is secured in Heaven forever. Forgive us for our faltering faith, and for our lack of trust. Teach us to see things through Your lens, so that we might have an eternal perspective, recognizing that You will have the final say in all things. Help us to live our lives in love as You so lavishly love us. May many come to know the peace of Your promises as we pursue Your path for our lives. Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may our lives be a pleasing offering unto You. Amen.

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

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

Chasing Dreams

Desires, dreams, the very hopes we hold in our heart that are deeply rooted and established in our faith, are not there by mistake.  God places these things in us, so that we faithfully move forward with Him.  However, there is often a long and winding road to take between that which we long to do, and the fruition of said reality.

Paul was no exception.  He desperately desired to preach the gospel in Rome.  I imagine that Paul’s plan did not include chains, shipwrecks, snakes, arrests, and long delays, in order to actually arrive to his desired destination.  “Although he may have wished for an easier passage, he knew that God had blessed him greatly in allowing him to meet the believers in Rome and preach the message to both  Jews and Gentiles in that great city.  In all things, God worked for Paul’s good.” – (Acts 28:17-20 NIV footnotes)

Like Paul, we can trust that God will work all things out for our ultimate good.  He may not make it easy, nor comfortable, but He will be present, and will provide what we need to do that which He has called us to do.  When all is said and done, we too, will see that God has worked all things together for good, and that though His ways are not our ways, His ways work wonders.  As He moves in us and through us, hearts are moved and lives are changed.  His kingdom is further established in the hearts and homes of all who hear.

What is the dream,Chasing Dreams

that your heart does hold?

Do you pursue,

or fearfully fold?

Are there delays,

obstacles in route?

Are there trials,

disturbing pursuit?

You move forward,

be faithful to trust;

don’t be deterred,

by obstacles thrust.

Often the bumps,

the trials and tests;

grow us further,

to trust in the mess.

When the dream comes,

may hearts recognize;

strength in struggles,

bring hope realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You place in us, dreams and desires.  Thank You that in You, we have all that we need to move forward in faithful pursuit, as You call us to go.  Thank You that despite the way things often appear, You are working and moving in us and through us, even when we don’t understand how it is possible.  Forgive us for our fears and disappointments when things do not go the way that we imagined they would, and help us to trust You more.  Teach us to see things through Your eyes, rather than our own, so that we may have an eternal perspective.  Lead us to love as You love, so that many may come to know the saving grace that is available in You.  May lives be changed and hearts made new.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Sow Where We’re Planted

When our circumstances seem dismal, or if our surroundings are a space less than what we’d hoped for, we may very well be exactly where God intended for the purpose of influencing people for His Name’s sake.

In Acts 25, despite having been imprisoned for two years, Paul found himself with an audience of the governor, a king, and some other very influential individuals.  Paul, true to form, made the most of his opportunity, and proclaimed the truth about Jesus before them.

The fall that followed my graduation from university, I took a giant leap of faithful obedience, and joined YWAM. (Youth With A Mission)  After several months of training, my cohorts and I found ourselves in the slums in Bangkok, Thailand.  The air was so thick that it felt as if we could chew it, and the scent in our surroundings was that of stagnant water and garbage, stewed in sweltering heat.  For many of us, this was our first introduction to anything outside of the United States, and there was a bit of culture shock, to say the least.  However, by the grace of God, we got it together, and began to serve the community in the slums where we were staying.  Each morning, we went out to the waterway and dug out as much garbage as we could load into our baskets, and carried it away to the pick up site.  Day in and day out, we faithfully worked, giggling at ourselves, and making the most of our time, despite the dismal circumstances.

Unbeknownst to us, just over the wall, in a palatial home, was a very high ranking government official.  This man had observed what we were doing each day, and he could not understand why we would come and do what we were doing.  He invited a couple of the guys on our team to come to his home to speak with him, and they had the opportunity to share not only our intent to love and serve the people of Thailand, but they shared the gospel as well.  The official was so impressed, that he invited our entire team into his home for appetizers, arranged for a tour bus, and funded a sightseeing adventure for our team that we would not have otherwise had.

Circumstances,Sow Where Planted

do not determine;

effectiveness,

that’s only through Him.

May we all turn,

to trust in each space;

He is working,

rely on His grace.

For He can use,

whatever we bring;

so let our hearts,

extend offering.

Always ready,

the truth to exclaim;

we never know,

who’ll embrace His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word, and for the gift of life experiences to demonstrate how faith in action really works.  Thank You that You use us, Your children, to touch lives and transform communities, if we are only willing to serve where we are planted.  Forgive us for grumbling if things seem uncomfortable or less than we had hoped for, and help us to keep an eternal perspective, knowing that whatever we experience here is nothing, compared to what You have prepared for us in heaven.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to speak truth in love as You lead, so that hearts may turn to You.  May many come to know of Your glorious grace and the eternal hope that is held in You alone.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

One Day

One DayThere will come a day,

when we all shall hear,

each creature singing,

of the Lord, who’s near.

All those in heaven,

and all too, on earth;

sing of His praises,

and His matchless worth.

Seated on the throne,

God’s own holy Lamb;

all offered to Him,

glorious I Am.

All praise and honor,

power and glory;

may we forever,

speak of His story.

Imagine the day,

when we see His face;

joy unimagined,

held in His embrace.

Oh Lord, let our lives,

be sweet offering;

let our days be spent,

honoring You, King.

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing; ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” – (Revelation 5:13)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You sent Your Son, the Lamb who was slain in our place, we have the opportunity to be in Your glorious presence forever. Forgive us for not always living with an eternal perspective – for what is on earth is merely temporary, yet that which is of You, is forever. Teach us to fix our eyes on You, so that we too, may gain Your perspective on people and the path we are called to take. Let us love others in the same light that You love us. May many be moved to embrace Your majesty as Savior and King. Amen.

Aine
Anne update: No new news is good news. Today I will go visit and spend time with this sweet sister and warrior for Christ. Please pray that God would use me as an encouragement and comfort to His dear daughter. Please pray also for His continued healing in her body, heart and mind. May the miraculous be her story that moves many unto Christ. Amen.

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