Infinite Faithfulness

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. – (Psalm 36:5, NIV)

God’s love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic.  – (Psalm 36:5, MSG)

But You, O Lord, Your mercy-seat love is limitless, reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is infinite, stretching over the whole earth. – (Psalm 36:5, TPT)

 

Yesterday was a remarkable reminder of the love and faithfulness of God. Though I truly enjoy student-led conferences, I went into yesterday’s marathon with a bit of uncertainty, as my schedule was from 6 am to 7 pm, and I had woken up feeling weary before I had even begun. As always, I prayed on my way into work. My first conference did not show up. I focused on catching up on some grading, and made the most of the time I had not anticipated. Throughout the day, I had wonderful check-ins with colleagues, students and their parents. By day’s end, all of the scheduled conferences had either been completed or rescheduled, and great conversations had transpired. The Lord was faithful to supply all that I needed and more to complete the day, not just getting through it, but actually enjoying my time, with strength, endurance and energy, as I was provided wonderful opportunities to speak not only with my students and their parents/guardians, but with my colleagues as well. Though I feel I bit weary again this morning, I am looking forward to the day with hopeful anticipation, as I know that He will be faithful to provide all that is needed to successfully navigate this day. May we ever turn in trust to the Lord, as He is forever faithful to be present and prepared to meet our needs as they arise.

 

The Lord is faithful, Healed Hands Reach Out

In all that we do;

His presence, promised,

And love proven true.

Though days may be long,

And energy short;

His grace is enough,

His strength shall support.

Support where we lack,

Filled with strength and grace;

Faithful forever,

As we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever, and that You care about the little things in our lives. Thank You for Your blessings of peace, strength and endurance on our longest days. Forgive us for wanting to fold in our feelings of weariness. Teach us to continue to trust in Your unending faithfulness, as You are our Source and Supply that sustains. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers strength, hope and grace, to help each understand You are faithful always. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your faithfulness forever, and press on in Your strength. Amen.

 

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

 

But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  – Psalm 86:15

 

Living a Legacy Life

Yesterday, the task to which I charged my students, was for each one to select a “legacy” word for the year. The word that they choose is to be accompanied by a symbol or image that represents that word to them, and each card with word and image will be posted on a designated wall in my classroom. Our discussions throughout the day about what a legacy is, were rich and rewarding. These 7th graders understand the value in passing something down to those who come after them. Additionally, each of them desires to achieve their highest potential, both this year, and in life. The goals and dreams held in the hearts of young people are truly inspiring.

It is good to have something to pass down to your grandchildren. But wealth hidden away by sinners will be given to those who live right. – (Proverbs 13:22)

What we pass on to the next generation and beyond, matters. If we share wisdom and insight that steers them in the right direction, and leads them on the path of righteousness, hope, light and life will lie before them. However, if we shatter dreams and shut down the hopes that kids hold in their hearts, we may be missing out on a promising leader, artist, doctor, inventor, discoverer, or the like. Our wealth is not just monetary. Our time, our heart, our concern, our love, our energy – kids need adults who care to invest in their lives. If a child knows that at least one grown up in their world is for them, they are more confident to move toward their dreams. May we share the wealth that we have, with those who will follow in our footsteps – be it our time, experience, wisdom or resources. Let us make the choice to be a champion for every child.

Living legacy,Living a Legacy Life

is a choice to make;

how to be recalled,

despite our mistakes.

Do we choose rise up,

and try, try again;

or do we choose fold,

give up and give in?

How we choose respond,

matters very much;

young ones are watching,

our words, deeds and such.

We shape their thinking,

of what’s right and wrong;

we model respect,

and how to belong.

Let’s make the right choice,

be a champion;

instead of limits,

kids see dreams begin.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us the privilege and the responsibility of caring for the next generation. Thank You that You do not expect us to do this on our own, but rather You equip and empower us with You grace, goodness and love, to care well for all whom we are given charge. Thank You that You intentionally create each individual with gifts and talents that are waiting to be discovered. Forgive us for not seeking to find those hidden treasures in every human, and teach us to see people through Your eyes. Help us to trust You in us as we are placed positions where we are desperately in need of You. Lead us to love and care for kids well, as they are the leaders of tomorrow. Show us how to leave a legacy of faithfulness in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to honor You in all that we do, and leave a legacy of loving You and people well. 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

Forget Not His Benefits

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – (Psalm 103:2-5, NIV)

 

My soul, praise the Lord and never forget how kind He is! He forgives all our sins and heals all our sicknesses. He saves us from the grave, and He gives us love and compassion. He gives us plenty of good things. He makes us young again, like an eagle that grows new feathers. – (Psalm 103:2-5, ERV)

 

No matter what our present lot in life, we have reason to praise the Lord. If we have given our life to Him, we are forgiven and set free from eternal death and darkness, and have been welcomed into God’s own fold, as He calls us His own sons and daughters. As His children, we have a blessed inheritance of joy and faithfulness forever, as well as the assurance of where all of our eternity will be spent. He renews us when we are weary, He heals us when we are hurting, and He satisfies the deepest longings of our soul. God is so very good, and worthy of all of our praise. May we rise up and remember all of His benefits, giving Him thanks and praise for who He is both now and forevermore.

 

All praise to the Lord,It is Grace that Saves

may we not forget;

how our God forgives,

all Love’s benefits.

He heals diseases,

rescues us from hell;

gives love and kindness,

in Him, it is well.

Restores the broken,

and Soother of pain;

fulfills our longings,

and cleanses our stains.

When we’ve grown weary,

He comes to renew;

with wings like eagles,

we’re equipped to do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You forgive us, heal us, redeem us, and crown us with Your love and compassion. Thank You that You satisfy our desires with good things, and You renew us so that we can soar. All praise to You! Forgive us for not giving You proper praise and thanks, as no matter our situation or circumstance, we ALWAYS have reason to give You praise. Teach us to trust You more, so that our focus will be on You and Your benefits, rather than the challenges that surround us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that that too can come to know the benefits beheld in knowing You. May many come to trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You with all that we are in all that we do. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

The Power of the Tongue

Yesterday morning, we continued in a series entitled, Be Light – Faith in Action, as modeled in the book of James. The topic of the day was The Power of the Tongue. We began the morning by reading James 3:1-12 out loud, together, to create a common foundation and point of reference, as our Administrative Pastor, Paul Zimmerman, spoke. The three main points that he highlighted from this passage were:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1) Our words affect others. What we say has the power to change us and others, and there are always people listening.
2) Our words take us where our heart leads. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks… (Luke 6:45b)
3) Our words either build up or burn down. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(Proverbs 18:21)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. – (James 3:9-10)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Words matter. They always have. As a writer, I think I have always been particularly sensitive to the impact of words. From a young age, I learned the power of words through reading, observing, and understanding how they made me feel – for better or worse. On our own, we will say that which we ought not to say, and harm those we long to help. So what can we do? The three take-aways from yesterday’s message were great reminders of how we can best be certain that the words we use build up, rather than burn down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            First, we must be slow to speak. James 1:19 tells us: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. If we slow down, and think first, we are able to hear His voice, and speak the words that He has for us to say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next, we need to put into our heart what we want to come out of it. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – (Philippians 4:8) Good in, good out; enough said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, rebuild what has been burned down. This means that we must repent when we hurt another with our words. Repentance goes beyond simply saying I’m sorry, as it is a turning away from the old patterns and moving forward into a new way of speaking. An apology is empty words if there is not a demonstrated heart change that follows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Though a small muscle,The Power of the Tongue
such power it holds;
able to speak life,
or make a man fold.
We each have the choice,
the power to speak;
to offer great strength,
or make others weak.
Let us choose the words,
that extend His hope;
a lifeline to save,
those with no more rope.
Strength to the weary,
peace for those in pain;
may our mouths declare,
all praise to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have the power to speak life into others. Thank You that when we are slow to speak, invest our heart in things of You and are quick to repent, others may be built up and pointed toward abundant life in You. Forgive us for the times that our words have affected others negatively and we have spoken without listening first. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will slow down and listen first, trusting that You will provide that which we are meant to speak in all situations so that light and life are passed on to all. Lead us to love in such a way that others may too burn brightly in the light of Your lavish love. Be glorified O God, as we speak life to all whom we encounter. 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

When Anger Arises

In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. – (Ephesians 4:26-27)

 

Anger can be a tricky topic. Just as any other emotion, there are times when anger is an appropriate response to a given situation. That being said, it is always a matter of how we handle our anger that determines whether or not we are responding in righteousness, or running on the road to ruin. Bottling builds bitterness, and outburts wreak havoc, yet Paul says to deal with anger immediately. Ideally, our objective ought to be to approach the offender in love, with the intent of reconciliation, not retaliation. If a resolution is not readily available, we can, at the very least, submit the situation to our Savior in prayer. As we speak out the words of anger, hurt and frustration openly and honestly before Him, there comes a softening, and He equips us with the capacity to pray for the very person or people that inspired the onset of anger. Through prayer and seeking to set things right, the devil has no hold on the destruction that was originally intended. When anger rises, may we seek to set things right.

 

When fury rises,When Anger Arises

don’t fold and give in;

let not the sun set,

in anger, don’t sin.

Give not the devil,

a foothold to take;

seek to reconcile,

and hatred shall break.

Pray for the people,

who wrong or do harm;

go and confront them,

grace through outstretched arms.

Seek to extend peace,

where chaos has reigned;

love as Jesus loved,

let truth be proclaimed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that anger is not all bad, provided we do not sin when it rises up within us. Thank You that Jesus modeled what righteous anger looked like, when merchants were preventing people from worshiping You and You cleared the temple courts so that they could again enter the space to focus their attention toward You. Forgive us for the times that we have sinned in our anger – for thoughtlessly venting, for bottling it up and becoming bitter – and help us to seek You first so that we act according to Your will, when anger arises. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might respond in righteousness, regardless of the situation or circumstance. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know the saving grace that is available in You. Be glorified Lord God, as we act appropriately when anger arises. 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

 

A Friend

A Friend

My sister and very first friend…

Trustworthy and kind,

honest from the start;

willing to listen,

with all of her heart.

One who will stand up,

when things are not right;

she’ll know when to fold,

and when she’s to fight.

One who truly sees,

beyond my brave face;

extends hands and heart,

creating safe space.

Able to share laughs,

and stay close through tears;

willing to speak truth,

despite her own fears.

She loves at all times,

even when it’s hard;

’tis a blessed choice,

in highest regard.

For such friends to us,

make Christ seem so near;

may we too go forth,

ambassadors here.

“A friend loves at all times…” – (Proverbs 17:17a)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of friends that You have given to us. I am continually in awe of how much of You I see in those around me through their kindness and love. Thank You that You love us so much that You give us one another to demonstrate more of Yourself to each other. Forgive us for withholding what we were meant to share, or not honoring another as You would call us to do. Please show us how to see all people through Your eyes, so that we may extend the same love and grace that You give to us, and that we might honor and encourage each other in the purpose You have placed in us. May our love for others lead many to a lasting relationship with You, our Father and Friend. Amen.

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