Strength to the Weary

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. – (Isaiah 40:29, NIV)

He helps tired people be strong. He gives power to those without it. – (Isaiah 40:29, ERV)

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have not might He increases strength. – (Isaiah 40:29, NKJV)

 

So far, this week has felt extraordinarily long, and we are only two days in, out of four. I am not sure whether it is all of the snow and missed days that we have had the last few weeks, or the full moon, or perhaps the onset of gymnastics season that extends my work day by a couple of hours; but whatever it is, these past two days have felt longer than most, leaving me worn out by early into the evening. Incredibly, each morning is new, and fresh resolve and readiness greet me as I wake. Though feeling tired, I have managed to complete the things required of me with the energy needed. His help and strength have been tangibly present, as if left to my own devices, I might have otherwise tapped out. With fresh eyes, I recognize there is only one more wake-up after today, and that is not beyond what He has granted me strength to do. May we seek the Lord for the strength we need, as He is our Source and Supply, ever near to meet us with His power and presence.

 

When tired and weary,

dsc044712067821502.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Strength is all but gone;

Reach out to Jesus,

Who will lead us on.

He equips with strength,

His grace, grants power;

To keep moving forth,

His love empowers.

No matter the task,

Whatever the call;

He’s strength when we’re weak,

He’ll lead us through all.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength when we feel weak, and You empower us when we feel depleted. Thank You for Your grace and love that get us through our longest days. Forgive us for attempting to power through on our own, or for tapping out when we are called to keep moving. Teach us to find balance between the strength and rest to which we are called. Show us how to encourage and support those around us in Your loving kindness as they feel depleted. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to supply the strength we are lacking, so that we may accomplish each day, what You are calling us to do. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. – Exodus 15:2

When We Are Real

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – (Luke 18:14b, NLT)

People who make themselves important will be made humble. But those who make themselves humble will be made important. – (Luke 18:14b, ERV)

If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to fall flat on your face, but if you’re content to simply be yourself, you will become more than yourself. – (Luke 18:14b, MSG)

 

After having had my first day with some of my sixth graders yesterday, this verse is an excellent affirmation of my approach. I have never taught sixth grade before, as my previous twenty years of teaching have been spent with seventh, eighth and even ninth graders. Rather than pretending to know what I am doing with this age group and that I have it all together, I began by being real with my students, and let them know that I did not know exactly what to expect from sixth grade students, and that I would need their help to figure it out. By establishing my need for their help as we work together towards success this year, and discover together what it will take for each to accomplish their goals, there was a sense of comfort and communication that began to take root. May we be real with one another, wherever we are at, and look for ways to encourage and lift each other up.

 

Let’s come as we are, Chosen With Purpose

Wherever we’re at;

For when we are real,

Character’s intact.

People will respect,

The truth that we speak;

Our need for their help,

Is not seen as weak.

We were created,

For community;

To work together,

To rise and meet needs.

So let us gather,

Join in and give grace;

Provide our support,

For all in this space.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we choose to be real and come humbly into whatever we are called, You meet us and provide the help we need to accomplish what is asked of us. Thank You that we are not meant to do everything all on our own, as You place us in community and provide help and hope as we are willing to admit our need. Forgive us for the times that we do not humble ourselves and admit our own need for help or for thinking that we somehow have it all together. Teach us to trust You more, as there is ALWAYS more to learn and room to grow in this process of being refined and becoming who You are calling us to be. Show us how to love those around us with humility and grace, so that they may feel safe and valued as You intended. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be honest wherever we are at, and trust You to make up for where we lack. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Praise in Wonder

O Lord, I will honor and praise Your Name, for You are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them. – (Isaiah 25:1, NLT)

Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – (Isaiah 25:1, NIV)

 

God deserves all of our honor and praise, for His faithfulness is perfect, and what He says, He does. The Lord is faithful to fulfill all of His promises, and we can trust that He is true to His word. Sometimes, in the hectic pace of life, we lose sight of all that God has done, and become anxious about what lies ahead. It is both good and necessary to slow down and recognize all that God has done to faithfully fulfill His promises to us. For me, I need only look on the faces of my children to remember the wonderful ways in which He fulfills His word. May all that is within us recognize the wonderful things that He has done, giving our honor and praise to He alone who is worthy of our awe and wonder.

 

Let us choose honor,unseal-my-lips

Give praise to His Name;

May all within us,

Of His love, proclaim.

See all the wonder,

The great things He does;

How He keeps His word,

And oh, how He loves.

All that He has planned,

The Lord shall fulfill;

We can always trust,

What He says, He will.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do such wonderful things. Thank You that the things that You planned long ago, You fulfill. Thank You that You are always faithful. Thank You that You are my God and I can honor and praise You. Forgive us for not recognizing the wonderful things that You have done in us, through us and around us. Teach us to take pause and look around, so that we would both remember and recognize all of the places where You have stepped in and shown Your faithfulness to us. Help us to trust You more. Show us how to love those around us in a tangible way, so that they might come to see the light of Your love through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we exalt You and praise Your Name for who You are and the wonderful things that You have done. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

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

 

 

 

 

Praise for His Plans

Lord, You are my God, I will exalt You and praise Your Name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – (Isaiah 25:1, NIV)

O Lord, I will honor and praise Your Name, for You are my God; You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them, just as You said! – (Isaiah 25:1, TLB)

 

God deserves all of our honor and praise. He is perfect in all of His ways, and is always faithful. What He speaks, He is faithful to fulfill, and all of the wonderful things that we experience were planned long in advance. The Lord loves us, and knows our needs. In His goodness and grace, He is present and has prepared a path before us that leads us to life everlasting. May we exalt our God and praise His Name, for He is faithful to do all that He says He will do.

 

Lord, You are my God,Marvelously Made

I exalt Your Name;

for Your faithfulness,

and truth You proclaim.

For all that is good,

You planned long ago;

You spoke forth Your word,

and then made it so.

May I remember,

to always give praise;

for Your faithfulness,

throughout all my days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are my God and that You are perfect in Your faithfulness. Thank You that You have done wonderful things that You planned long ago. Thank You that You receive our worship and praise, as You alone deserve all. Forgive us for not recognizing Your faithfulness in the wonders all around us, and for not giving You proper praise for who You are and how You love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would exalt You in all things and at all times, as we always have evidence of Your faithfulness all around us. Show us how to love others, so that they might come to understand Your faithfulness too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor and praise Your Name, for who You are, and all that You do. Amen.

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

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

Learning to Love With All

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)

You must love Him with all your heart, soul and might. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, TLB)

Love God, your God, with your whole heart; love Him with all that’s in you, love Him with all you’ve got! – (Deuteronomy 6:5, MSG)

 

We are not called to just passively “love” God, but rather, we are called to love Him with all that we are – heart, soul and strength. Every element of our existence is enjoined to exalt the Eternal in love. He who gave us the heart that beats within us, the strength to speak, to step, to think, to live and to love – He is whom we are called to love, as God first loved us. The more that we set ourselves to love the Lord, the better equipped we are to love one another. His love equips us to love Him, and to do the same for those around us. May we consciously choose to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and strength, and allow His love to be that which flows through us to those who are around us.

 

To truly love God,An Appropriate Answer to Anger

we must go the length;

love with heart and soul,

and all of our strength.

Before we could love,

the Lord, He loved us;

providing His hope,

through His Son, Jesus.

God does not withhold,

life and hope He gives;

as we choose receive,

we find love and live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love You with all of our heart, soul and strength, as that is the way that we come to know the fullness of Your goodness and grace. Thank You that You first loved us, and that You called us unto Yourself, making a way for us to come before You and be called Your children. Forgive us for withholding any part of our heart, soul or strength from loving You. Teach us to trust You more, and show us any place in us that is not fully given to You. Lead us to love others as we are loved by You, so that they too, may come to know Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn to love You with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our strength. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

The Help and Hope of Humility

Pride is perhaps the greatest obstacle to coming into the kingdom of Christ. King Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way, just how far a man will fall if pride comes before the Lord. Though he had been warned multiple times through dreams and the interpretations provided by Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar somehow always managed to disregard the wisdom given to him, and ultimately found himself insane and isolated, before he was willing to repent of his pride and humble himself in the sight of the Lord.

 

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. – (Daniel 4:37)

 

Nebuchadnezzar was a changed man. The same king who had erected an enormous gold statue and commanded his people to bow down and worship it before him, was now glorifying God, and acknowledging that God’s way was the right way. He who had been too prideful to heed the warnings granted, had suffered the consequence of his foolish pride, repented, and was now restored to his position of power, and walking humbly before the Lord. May we each heed the Lord’s words of warning and release our pride, rather than wander lost in the wilderness of our own foolishness. Teach us to walk in humility, we pray.

 

All praise and glory,A Touch of Faith

to the King of kings;

for all that He does,

true righteousness brings.

All His ways are right,

not one steeped in pride;

with humility,

He willingly died.

He chose that old cross,

so we might have life;

and rose up again;

blessings that are rife.

Let us give Him all,

as we humbly come;

to seek and serve Him,

’til our days are done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the King of kings and Lord of lords, and that You alone, are worthy of all of our praise. Please forgive us for our foolish pride, and help us to have repentant hearts and be fully reliant on You. Teach us to walk in constant humility, so that we may be tender and approachable to all whom we encounter. Let Your love and light be what is evident in and through us to the world, and may many come to know You as result. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to walk humbly before You. 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

The Faultless Father

One of my favorite stories that my dad likes to tell, is when I was quite young, I had a cracker that I had broken somehow, and with total trust and assurance that my dad could indeed do what I was asking, I extended the fractured pieces toward him and said, “Daddy, fix it?”

 

Though our human fathers may be capable of many great things, not one of them can fix in us, all that is fractured. However, our Heavenly Father, can. I know today is a mixed bag of emotions for many, as not all have access to their earthly fathers, nor the desire to do so. There is a Father that we all have access to, who is waiting with arms open wide. Jesus came to heal the broken, love the hurting and save all those who are feeling lost and alone. Peace is found in Him who created each of us, and knows us better than we know ourselves.

 

Dad and boys

Cautious, Super Spouse & Adventurous a few years ago…

May we each make time,

to celebrate You;

our ultimate Dad,

whom hope is held through.

Please bless all the dads,

who honor You well;

that love as You ask,

in whose hearts You dwell.

Be near to the ones,

who have lost their dad;

memories of joy,

rather than the sad.

Stay close too, to those,

whose fathers are not;

what they’re meant to be,

will You fill that spot?

Lord Jesus, today,

I’m happy to say;

You’re our perfect Dad,

on this Father’s Day.

 

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. – (Psalm 68:5)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that whether we have a wonderful dad, an absent dad, or anything in between – You are our Father without fault, who loves us unconditionally. Thank You that You see and know us, yet still love, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that when we come to You and commit our lives to You, You welcome us into Your family forever. Forgive us for our failings with our fathers, and heal fractured places in each of us. May today be a reason for all to celebrate fathers – and above all, a celebration of You, our Heavenly Father. Let our hearts hold fast to the security we have in You, and may we live and love as lights to all whom encounter. May many come to know You as their Heavenly Father today. Be exalted as we celebrate You and the fathers who reflect Your heart and character today. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

 

 

Reinstating Radiance

This morning, the reading plan I follow had me reading the account of David numbering the fighting men in Israel, (found in both 2 Samuel 24 & 1 Chronicles 21). The gist of the story is that David was incited by Satan to take a census of Israel of all his fighting men. Rather than listen to Joab, his commander, who tried to dissuade him, David sent Joab on his way. Upon his return, David recognized the reality of his sin, (for he was looking to trust more in military power than in God) and confessed to the Lord the error in his ways. God was gracious and gave him a choice as to which of three consequences should befall the nation of Israel. David selected the shortest of the three, and an angel of the Lord began to carry it out. As the people of the nation of Israel were falling, David cried out to the Lord’s grieved heart. God was merciful, and had the angel withdraw. David went on to purchase a field, build an altar, and sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord.

 

Psalm 30, also accompanies today’s read. This particular passage is one of David’s, in which he celebrates God’s deliverance. It is bookended in the following verses: “I will exalt you, O Lord, for You lift me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. – vs. 1 “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” – vs. 11-12

 

God is gracious and hears our prayers, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. Be it in the sludge of our own sin, the anguish of a loss, fear, defeat, despair – He is able to remove the wreckage and reinstate joy and hope and peace. May our hearts cry out to Him, as we allow the Lord to fill the spaces once occupied by sorrow, with sweet songs of praise.

 

No matter what state,Reinstating Radiance

our hearts when we come;

His arms are open,

where all peace is from.

He’ll take our sorrow,

the wreckage of loss;

and love us to life,

no matter the cost.

He already paid,

the ultimate price;

so we could find hope,

Love’s true sacrifice.

He will grant us joy,

where sorrow once stood;

and plant in us, peace;

all from Him is good.

May praises rise up,

all thanks to the Lord;

true freedom is found,

hearts in one accord.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and kind, and ready to receive us, no matter how we come. Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to come unto You with repentant hearts, knowing that as we do, we are forgiven and set free from the stains of our sin. Thank You that You hold our hearts in Your hands, and that You turn our mourning into joy, and raise up songs of praise as You continue to show us Your faithfulness, even in the difficult and painful places. Forgive us for losing sight of Your hand in the hard places, and help us to trust You, regardless of the trials we face. Grant us strength and peace and joy and hope, as You are the reason we sing. May we love others as we are loved by You, and may we encourage and lift up those who are hurting. Let those who are looking, find the peace that is held in You alone. Be exalted, O God, in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

 

 

To Be the Body

 

Together, we are the body of Christ. Not one of us, on our own, possesses all that is needed to effectively do all that the Lord longs to do through His people. However, when we are united in purpose, collectively, the combination of gifts and grace that have been granted by God, are all that we need to effectively accomplish that which He calls us to do. (see I Corinthians 12:12-24)

 

We are not meant to devalue either our own gifts, nor those of another; nor are we meant to exalt that which has been given to us by God. Instead, He calls us to utilize that which He has given, for His glory – united in purpose. Also, we are meant to be aware of those around us. If one is suffering, we ought to sit beside them, and if another is honored, we are to rejoice with them. (see I Corinthians 12:25-26)

 

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – (I Corinthians 12:27)

 

May we seek to serve,To Be the Body

with all of our hearts;

utilize the gifts,

that the Lord imparts.

Together as one,

the body of Christ;

each filling our role,

willing sacrifice.

See every gift,

as one from the Lord;

no room for envy,

nor pride to afford.

If someone suffers,

come close and be near;

if one is honored,

stand with them to cheer.

We are His body,

we each play a part;

all of us needed,

hands, feet, mouth and heart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You made each of us unique, with different gifts and talents to use for Your glory. Thank You that despite our differences, we can come together and be united in purpose for You. Thank You that unity does not mean duplicate drones, but rather a beautiful varied collection that can come together to seek and serve You. Forgive us for thinking that we do not have enough to offer, or for thinking that someone around us has something better. Help us to recognize that each gift is a blessing from You, meant to build up the body. May we celebrate the gifts You give, and come along side those who are suffering. Grant us wisdom and grace to best know how to love as You love us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be honored through our every word and deed. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10