Don’t Settle for Crumbs

Yesterday evening was the second week of the book study I am participating in with the women of my church as we read through the book, Without Rival, by  Lisa Bevere. My personal take away from the text this week is to not “settle for crumbs” because God is calling us to feed on His faithfulness. Though sermons, podcasts, books, quotes, posts on Facebook and various other sources of uplifting material are good, they are merely crumbs compared to our seeking and finding the presence of God for ourselves.

 

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see; eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His Divine Being. – (Romans 1:19-20, MSG)

 

In other words, God is not difficult to find if we seek Him. It is merely a matter of opening our eyes to the world around us, as His handiwork is evident everywhere. He is faithful to meet us as we seek Him, so there is no reason not to pursue His presence for ourselves. There is abundantly, exponentially more waiting for us as we choose seek Him on our own. He longs to show us more and more of who He is and how He loves, if only we are willing to pursue His presence. May we each allow the “crumbs” to be a trail that take us into the fantastic feast of our Heavenly Father’s presence, as He is ever waiting for us to draw near, so that we might come to know Him more.

 

Settle not for crumbs,Twin Falls, on the way to Hana.

But come forth to feast;

For there is much more,

That God will release.

As we choose to come,

He shows us the more;

A love far greater,

Than we knew before.

Each time we draw near,

He’s faithful to show;

His grace and His love,

Truth we come to know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have so much more for us than crumbs or leftovers. Thank You that You draw us unto Yourself to experience more of You, personally. Thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to know You intimately and individually. Forgive us Jesus, for not seeking You for ourselves, or for settling for less than You have for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You individually and personally, as You have so much more for us all. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points to Your goodness and faithfulness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue Your presence for ourselves, and feed on the faithfulness that is found in You forever. Amen.

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

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

Where Blessings Belong

“Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need. God’s kingdom belongs to them.” – (Matthew 5:3, ERV)

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” – (Matthew 5:3, NLT)

 

It is only when we recognize our desperate need for God, that we actively and whole-heartedly pursue Him. When we seek Him, we find Him. God blesses all who earnestly seek Him with His presence and His promises. Hope is found when we identify our need for Christ and allow Him to come and rule and reign in our lives. The security of salvation is the greatest blessing that anyone can ever behold. To confidently claim the Kingdom of Heaven as our ultimate destination, is a space of blessed assurance granted to all who realize and act upon their need for God. May we rise up and respond, recognizing that we all desperately need the Lord in our lives. Let us lay hold of the promises He has granted and the hope we hold forever in Him.

 

Come all you weary,

broken and in need;

Hold Hope He is Faithful

image from quotespictures.com

for God’s great blessings,

are for souls to feed.

He promises hope,

where none has been found;

He holds a future,

that in Him, is sound.

The greatest treasure,

is granted to all;

who earnestly seek,

on God, choose to call.

For heaven awaits,

all who trust in Him;

blessed assurance,

day out and day in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we recognize our own need for You and seek You, we find You and are granted Your great blessings. Thank You that as we place our trust in You, we receive the blessed assurance of both Your presence now and life everlasting in heaven. Forgive us for not laying hold of the great blessings that You have already granted to us, and help us to trust You more so that we would embrace the promises that You have given and hold fast to the hope we have both now and forevermore. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may feel loved and blessed beyond what makes sense. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize our own need for You, and embrace all that You have given to us. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Cleanliness From the Inside Out

“Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’.” – (Mark 7:15)

Our “cleanliness“, which is how we are seen through the eyes of our Savior, is not dependent on what we eat or drink, but rather on what we do and say. The words we speak and deeds that we do, determine whether we are in right standing with God. If we are walking with Him, our words will represent well, our Redeemer who dwells within us. However, if we are opting to be ruled by our own evil thoughts, then the ugliness that escapes, makes us unclean. May we choose to tend well to that which we feed to our hearts and minds, so that all that comes out of us is a clear reflection of our radiant Redeemer.

It’s not what we eat,Clean Inside Out

that makes us unclean;

but rather our words,

and unkind acts seen.

For the Lord calls us,

to represent well;

His Name as His kids,

our words and deeds tell.

Let us choose wisely,

what we do and say;

as our righteousness,

is shown in this way.

May we all tend well,

our hearts and our minds;

so that which escapes,

is righteous and kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our righteousness is not determined by what we eat or drink, but rather by that which we say and do. Thank You that our words and deeds are not directed by us alone when we invest our hearts in relationship with You. Forgive us for allowing our own evil thoughts to rule our words or actions, and teach us to trust You more, so that we depend more fully on You to keep our hearts and minds free from the fuel that leads to ugliness. Lead us to love others as You so generously and completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we allow You to cleanse us from the inside out, so that all that comes out of us is a radiant reflection of You. 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

But On Every Word

Jesus answered, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – (Matthew 4:4)

 

These words were spoken by Jesus in the desert after His forty days of fasting in the wilderness. The devil was tempting Him to turn stones into bread, but Jesus knew the value in what God had called Him to do. The word of God gives life eternal, where as bread is only nourishment for the here and now. We are meant to balance our priorities and feed both our body and our spirit, so that we have strength for today and hope everlasting. May we make meditating on the word of God as much of a priority in our lives as the nourishing of our bodies.

 

Bread may satisfy,The Bread of Life

but just for a day;

yet the word of God,

comes in and remains.

We need to pursue,

both bread and His word;

nourish our body,

God’s wisdom incurred.

Let what our hearts hold,

be found in God’s word;

so that which we yield,

are God’s blessings heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from Your mouth. Thank You that though food nourishes our bodies, Your word gives us life everlasting. Forgive us for not keeping our priorities in order; for forgetting how critical Your word is to the nourishment of our souls. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will hunger and thirst for Your righteousness and seek daily, answers in Your word. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we feed our souls with the bread of life that is found in Your word alone. 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

A Discerning Heart

The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. – (Proverbs 15:14, NIV)

 

Intelligent people want more knowledge, but fools only want more nonsense. – (Proverbs 15:14, ERV)

 

What we feed our mind, heart and soul, is equally important to that which we choose as fuel for our body. Whatever we take in, is what ultimately comes out of us. The books we read, the music we choose, the media we partake in, the people we allow influence over us – all impact how we operate in our daily lives. Are our influences pointing us on the path of righteousness, or on one of destruction? Wisdom gives way to seeking knowledge, and sets our hearts on choices that positively influence our entire being. May the Lord keep folly far from us, and grant us hearts that seek Him in all things.

 

From when we first rise,A Discerning Heart

to the setting sun;

many choices made,

and work to be done.

How will our hearts choose,

what we allow in?

Is our filter Christ?

Do we fold to sin?

If we choose to seek,

His wisdom to guide;

He’s faithful to grant,

knowledge, He’ll provide.

He’ll show us the way,

that we ought to walk;

and grant us the words,

each time that we talk.

May our only choice,

with heart, soul and mind;

be seek Him alone,

His wisdom we’ll find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that You provide wisdom and knowledge as we choose wisely, what influences we allow into our lives. Forgive us for our lack of discernment, or for allowing anything or anyone influence that had no place speaking into our hearts and minds, and grow in us the desperate desire to seek knowledge with Your wisdom. Keep us from allowing anything that does not deserve influence in our lives from having a place, and surround us with people that promote healthy and wise choices. Let Your love that lives in us, be a light unto all who are around us. May many come to know the saving grace that You alone provide, as they enter into an eternal relationship with You. Be glorified as we seek You in all that we allow in. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

To Be A Blessing

As an educator and a mom, kids are often on my mind. Though both my students and my own children are at an age where they have reached some level of independence, they still need love, nurturing and guidance to make wise decisions, and still require support from adults to have their basic needs met.

In the public school setting, this requires a delicate dance. Wisdom and vulnerability must be in balance, or students will not trust, nor hear what I have to teach. When kids know that they are cared for, they are willing to try. “I am sending you out like a sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” – (Matthew 10:16) I am not implying that the students are wolves, for they are like little lambs, (that occasionally have sharp teeth), but rather those who would like to see robots instructing without any heart – those are the wolves of whom we must be wary.

Teachers, in their very job description, give to kids. If a child comes to class without a pencil, we supply them. If a child comes hungry, we feed them. When a students comes not knowing how to behave in the classroom, we redirect and instruct them in the ways that are acceptable. “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” – (Matthew 10:42) Our love for God is exemplified in how we treat others, and He notices how we care for those in our charge. We don’t earn our salvation through our deeds, but our relationship with Him is made evident to others, by our love and care for His created.

With wisdom and grace, Life Lived in Love

give unto the Lord;

worry not the cost,

nor of the reward.

But think of the one,

who has the great need;

love to the lonely,

and hungry to feed.

May our hearts be known,

so all see His light;

may comfort be found,

in Him, all delight.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our salvation is not earned, but rather is a gift of grace that You freely give when we come to You and invite You to be the Lord of our lives. Thank You that as You take Your place in our hearts, You invite us to partner with You in loving people well. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected a nudge to do something that You were asking, and help us to obey immediately, regardless of the cost. Thank You for the blessing of kids, and for the joy and perspective they bring to the world. Teach us how to love and serve them well, so that we raise up a brilliant generation of believers, who are sold out for You. May they be world changers, as they touch lives and transform the communities in which they live. May many come to call You King of their lives today. Amen.

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

The Bread of Life

The Bread of LifeThe bread of life,

Jesus alone;

more than manna,

the one way home.

It’s from heaven,

Jesus has come;

to show us life,

as God’s own Son.

Only His bread,

grants life to us;

heavenly hope,

truth to discuss.

We must partake,

feed on His word;

Holy Spirit,

secures what’s heard.

Spirit gives life,

the flesh does not;

His word alone,

our soul He bought.

His blood for ours,

He made the way;

redemption found,

purpose to pray.

(Responding to John 6:44-51)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word, that became flesh, is our way to life. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who leads, guides, instructs and corrects us in the ways we are meant to go. Forgive us for allowing anything other than You to feed our souls. Teach us to turn to You in trust, for all things, at all times. Help us to hear and heed Your instruction. May our lives of obedience light the way for many to meet You face-to-face. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

A Worthy Woman

image by novo10

image by novo10

With so much to do,

a balancing act;

priorities straight;

family intact.

What is our standard?

How do we measure?

Next to another?

Or what God treasures?

Even in Proverbs,

we cannot compare;

though inspiration,

may be gleaned from there.

Never be spiteful,

generous always.

Careful with resource,

wise spending our days.

Caring for family,

making house a home;

feeding and clothing,

so safely all roam.

To value hard work,

assist those in need;

speak words of kindness,

spread goodness indeed.

Charm is misleading,

and beauty will fade;

but she who loves God,

His delight, always.

(Responding to Proverbs 31:10-31)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace.  Thank You that we do not have to be the Proverbs 31 woman to “measure up” in Your eyes.  Thank You that You love us the same whether the dishes and laundry are done daily or not.  Forgive us for comparing ourselves to one another, and help us to receive Your grace and strength to be the best version of ourselves that You have created us to be.  Thank You that You place in each of us, unique gifts and talents that You treasure and delight in seeing us use.  May we use what we have been given for Your glory, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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