Joy Unconstrained

So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. – (Luke 2:16-20, NIV) 

So, they went running and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the feeding box. When they saw the baby, they told what the angels said about this child. Everyone was surprised when they heard what the shepherds told them. Mary continued to think about these things, trying to understand them. Mary continued to think about these things, trying to understand them. The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking Him for everything they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them. – (Luke 2:16-20, ERV) 

 

After having been visited first by a messenger of God, then bearing witness to an army of heavenly hosts singing praise for the birth of Christ, which the angel of the Lord had announced to them, the shepherds went running to find the One whom the heavens had proclaimed. When they found Jesus lying in a manger, just as the angel had foretold, they were amazed and in awe at how what had been spoken was right there, before their very eyes. Their response was that which it ought to be, as when we receive such incredible news and then observe it coming to pass, we cannot help but share with others, the good that has come. I can only imagine these shepherds leaving the stable and telling anyone and everyone who would listen, the joy of what they had witnessed. The shepherds were likely the sort that kept to themselves, as sheep tending was not the most glamorous of positions. For these men to be so impacted by what they had seen and heard that they ignored their typical itinerary and spoke out, left the hearers surprised and in awe. Meanwhile, Mary took in everything that was spoken and all that she bore witness to, and treasured them in her heart. This young woman had much to take in and ponder, as she had been visited by an angel, spared the shame and potential death for her condition, traveled more than 80 miles to Bethlehem, given birth in a stable, and now was being seen by shepherds who had been visited by the heavenly hosts to tell of this sweet Savior’s birth. All of these things unfolded just as they had been foretold, and the shepherds returned to their fields, forever changed. Songs of praise flowed from them, for they understood the magnitude of the miracle that was lying in a manger. May we remember in awe and wonder, all that took place that night. For unto us, a Savior was born. The Light of the world had come. 

 

Most holy of nights, A Christmas Prayer

The angels proclaimed; 

A Savior is born, 

Such joy unconstrained. 

Shepherds went running, 

To see with their eyes; 

This glorious news, 

In a manger, lies. 

Imagine their joy, 

The blessing to see; 

Just as they’d been told, 

Christ born unto thee. 

Their hearts were bursting, 

At what they had found; 

This scene they beheld, 

The promise was sound. 

Mary, she treasured, 

All that came to be; 

Her precious infant, 

Was Christ, most holy. 

May we too, ponder, 

In wonder and awe; 

Precious unfolding, 

Of all that they saw. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what You say, You will do. Thank You for the incredible way in which Jesus came into the world. Thank You that You sent Your heavenly hosts to ordinary people in an extraordinary way. Thank You that because Jesus came as a baby, He lived and knew, experienced and grew, in the same way that each of us do as we navigate in our own lives. Forgive us for not recognizing in awe and wonder, the incredible way in which You sent heaven to earth, so we could experience rebirth. Teach us to trust in Your promises and to stand in awe as we witness them come to pass. Show us how to love those around us in ways that show of Your faithfulness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate Your arrival and behold Your promises that have come to pass. Amen. 

 

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

 

With all my heart I will praise You, O Lord my God. I will give glory to Your Name forever. – Psalm 86:12

 

My Sons, This I Pray

My son(s), if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – (Proverbs 2:1-11, NIV)

 

It is difficult to believe that today, sixteen years ago, my life was forever changed for the better. Thoug0119180406679500301.jpgh I knew what it was to love and be loved, I could not fully grasp the human heart’s capacity to love, cherish and protect, until my precious baby boys were born. There has been no greater joy than to watch them grow into the young men that they are becoming. Today’s reading is quite timely, as it is my prayer for them, as they continue to grow in faith and pursue wisdom and walk in His ways. The older this delightful duo becomes, the more I have to let go and trust them to follow and seek and choose wisely. May we all continue the pursuit of understanding the Lord and seeking His wisdom, and may His protection be ever present as we pursue the path He places before us.

 

 

My sons, this I pray, 12141718251901389040.jpg

That you seek to know;

The wisdom of God,

Each day, may it grow.

For where you choose seek,

And ask of the Lord;

He will grant insight,

You’ll not be ignored.

He’s always faithful,

As we trust each day;

Seek Him for answers,

He’ll show you the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of my precious progeny. Not only was I blessed with one son, but with two! Thank You for the tender hearts and loving ways that You have instilled in each of them. May they ever pursue the path that You have placed before them. Protect them each and every moment of every day, I pray. Forgive us for not seeking You for wisdom and understanding, as You are always faithful to answer when we seek You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would understand what is just and fair, and follow Your good path. Lead us to love those around us in a way that shines Your light in dark places. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek You for wisdom and understanding all of the days of our lives. Amen.

 

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

 

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Because He Loved

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – (Romans 8:38-39, NLT)

Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love – not death, life, angels, or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us – nothing in the whole created world – will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord. – (Romans 8:38-39, ERV)

 

Because God loved, He sent His Son so that we could come to know Him and have eternal life in Him. There is nothing that has ever been, nor that will ever be, that is more powerful that God’s love for us. Once we receive what He freely gives, there is nothing that can take it away from us. The fingerprints of God on our broken hearts leave us forever changed. His love overpowers all. May we embrace the truth that we have come to know, and allow His love to flood our hearts and minds anew each morning. No matter what the day holds, His love is greater and He will remain.

 

For the love of God,

The Anchor for Our Soul

image found on Pinterest

is stronger than all;

there is not a thing,

that can cause it’s fall.

Neither life or death,

nor fears of unknown;

can take back the love,

that through Christ is shown.

No power on earth,

or vain force of hell;

can separate us,

from how God loves well.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is nothing that can separate us from Your love. Thank You that through the gift of Your Son, You made the way for us to be restored unto Yourself for all of eternity. Forgive us for our fears and worries that limit how great You truly are. Teach us to trust You more, keeping in mind that if You are for us, there is NOTHING that can stand against us. Show us how to love others as You so completely love each of us. May many come to know the security and permanence that is found in a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing love. Amen.

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

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

Sharing Scars

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” – (John 4:39)

 

Regardless of her shameful past, the Samaritan woman had a powerful encounter with the living Christ as she had gone to draw water from the well. She was so moved by what she saw and heard, that she lost herself in the enormity of what was being offered to her, and went into town and told everyone she could find about what Jesus had spoken to her, despite the public potential for her to be further ostracized. Jesus moved, and she was forever changed. So too, were many within that town. If we are willing to respond to the invitation that Jesus extends to each of us, not only will we be changed, but so too, will all whom we encounter. May we readily receive all that our Redeemer has to give, and then share our story with those who are willing to hear.

 

Christ Jesus, our Lord,One to Many

what wonder is He;

Who looks past our sin,

to what we can be.

No matter our scars,

sin, guilt and our stains;

He washes us clean,

so just love remains.

It is by that love,

that we are compelled;

to share the great news,

how Christ loves so well.

May we rise and go,

without fear of past;

for what we can share,

will forever last.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our testimony is irrefutable, as it is our story that You have redeemed and made beautiful. Thank You that You have always loved us, and that Your love does not change nor fade. Thank You that You deposit in us, that very same love for others. Forgive us for allowing fear to keep us from moving out where we are being called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go without concern for where we have been, but will look forward with anticipation to all that You will do. Lead us to love others with the same sort of zeal that You have for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we share the story of how You have touched our hearts and lives. Amen.

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

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

Awe and Reverence

Simon Peter, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), were fishermen. Their livelihood was dependant on their daily catch. One day, after a rough night of catching absolutely nothing, Jesus came along and spoke to the men. He told them to let down their nets in deep water. The fishermen, having spent the entire night trying to no avail, decided to do as Jesus had said, simply because it was He who said it. When they cast their nets, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break and their boats became so full of fish, that they started to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” – (Luke 5:8)

 

Simon Peter was so moved by this miracle, that his response was the recognition of his own sinfulness, in comparison to the greatness of Christ. Though Simon Peter and the others had seen Jesus heal the sick and drive out demons, he could not help but be overwhelmed by the personal attention and care Christ provided for their day to day lives. Jesus cared about their livelihood. He provided in a way that went way beyond what they had ever known, yet was tangible in their terms. God came close and their lives were forever changed. May we recognize the miracles all around us, as Christ came close to dwell within the hearts of all who believe.

 

In the midst of life,Honoring the Temple

Christ comes near to us;

He makes Himself known,

precious Lord Jesus.

Miracles abound,

if we simply look;

He loves and heals hearts,

all our sins He took.

May we too respond,

in reverent praise;

give glory to God,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to reestablish that which was broken between us. Thank You Jesus, that You took all of our sin and shame on the cross, erasing our debt and calling us clean. Thank You that You rose again in power and are seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to lead, guide and direct our steps. Forgive us for any response to You that does not include awe and reverence, as You, O Lord, are worthy of all of our worship and adoration. Help us to grasp a greater understanding of who You are and what You have done for each of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move securely in the truth. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified O God, as we operate in awe and reverence of who You are and all that You have done for each of us. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Ceasing Seclusion

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. – (Luke 8:38-39)

 

In this portion of the eighth chapter of Luke, the account of Jesus sending the demons out of a man into a herd of pigs is being retold. The man had been demon-possessed for many years, not living in a house, nor wearing clothes. He had lived in the tombs in his broken chains, stuck in solitude. When Jesus came along, life as he had known it, forever changed. Jesus restored his right mind and gave him his dignity back. As the demons fled, the man recognized the power and goodness of God, and begged to go with Jesus. However, God had a different plan for the man. This man would be an extraordinary witness to God’s power in his own hometown, as all had seen and known of the man’s previous state. Seeing the man clothed and in his right mind, would be a story that only he could share to help open doors in the hearts of the people in his hometown, so they might hear all that God had to offer. When Jesus asked him to stay, despite his likely disappointment, he obeyed.

 

God has done much for us as well. Are we willing to go where He calls? For some, He may ask us to go, yet for others, we may be asked to stay. Wherever we are, we have a story to share. We all have moments where we can recall when Christ came near, and our hearts were forever changed. What is your story that you will share for His glory? May we go forth wherever You call, and share all that You ask.

 

May we pass on,Peace He Brings

all that God has done;

make known His heart,

most glorious One.

He takes our mess,

however we come;

washes us clean,

in light of the Son.

The heart of stone,

we once had before;

He makes tender,

as He loves us more.

By His great grace,

we too, may give love;

He fills us up,

with more than enough.

Let us go forth,

wherever He calls;

love as He loves,

beyond our own walls.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do the miraculous in us, so that we can move mightily in Your strength. Thank You that You call us to tell of what You have done, be it near or far. Thank You that we each have a story to tell. Forgive us for our fearfulness and doubt, and help us to discover the power that You have placed in our voice when we are faithful to speak on Your behalf. Teach us to trust You more, and lead us to love well, all whom You have placed on our path. Let the lost be found, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we go where You call and do as You ask. 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