Love in Action

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – (1 John 3:18, NIV)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, or love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. – (1 John 3:18, TPT)

 

Today is a day off for many of us, as we celebrate and honor the men and women who have and still serve in our armed forces. These individuals have demonstrated what it is to love with action in truth, as they willingly chose to honor, serve and protect our nation and the freedoms we all enjoy. For most of us, today becomes a bonus day to either rest or accomplish items on our to-do list. Not only are we called to love with actions and in truth, but we ought to take time to appreciate and remember those who have modeled this before us. May we make time to honor, thank, remember or pray for those who have loved with actions in truth, and for those who are still making the decision to do so for the good of all. May the peace and protection of Christ be with each man and woman who has served, and those who still serve, as they understand what it is to love in action and in truth.

Love in action is exactly what is taking place in mom’s current location as she navigates this road to recovery. My sister and her family demonstrate love daily, as they honor and include Mom in their everyday lives. A favorite set of images that I caught on Instagram from Meg were of she, Scott, Mom, and their friends at an event in Corvallis. Smiles were abundant, and it was clear that Mom was enjoying herself and included. Love in action, again and again; chosen daily.

 

Limit not our love,

fb_img_1573485268955430866742791878631.jpg

My favorite veteran.

To mere words or speech;

But rather allow,

Our actions to teach.

For the things we do,

Each act done in love;

Makes God evident,

As truth shines above.

Words are forgotten,

But feelings remain;

How we are treated,

Oft’ love’s greatest gain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to demonstrate love through the truth of our actions, not just in words. Thank You for the powerful example set before us by so many who have chosen to sacrifice to protect. Forgive us for taking their sacrifice for granted, as we enjoy our freedoms every minute of each day. Father, quicken our hearts to remember to pray for Your protection, peace, presence and blessings over each man and woman who has served or is currently serving. Show us how to love all those around us with actions and in truth. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the ultimate sacrifice that You made on our behalf, so that we could have a relationship with You forever. Amen.

 

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

 

This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17

Faithful to Move the Fallen Forward

David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart. This is not because he always did everything right in the eyes of the Lord, but rather it was his relentless pursuit of redemption and restoration, even when he had done wrong in the sight of the Lord. He knew that all that he had was a gift from God, and was not at all what he deserved. David’s attitude of gratitude is expressed over and over in the Psalms, and his willingness to praise publicly and put aside his position of prestige, proved to the people that God alone, was deserving of all worship and praise.

 

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far?” – (1 Chronicles 17:16)

 

David approached God from a position of humility, despite being king. His beginnings as a shepherd boy were not forgotten, nor was the Lord’s faithfulness that had brought him through the trials and tribulations that led to his long before predicted position of leadership. Just as David took time to reflect on all that the Lord had done in his life thus far, so too we ought to do likewise. When we look back and reflect upon all that the Lord has done, we cannot help but stand in awe of His love and faithfulness granted unto us. Even if we are in the midst of messiness, we have previous examples and present provisions, that prove to us that He is for us, and that His promises shall stand the test of time. May we remember the Lord’s faithfulness forever, and look forward with faith in the Lord’s goodness and grace that He grants to all who call on His Name.

 

Lord, help us recall,External Appearance

all that You have done;

to bring us this far,

O Great Holy One.

For You Lord, are good,

Your love will endure;

despite that which comes,

Your faithfulness sure.

Help us move forward,

with trust that’s secure;

thank You for Your grace,

and presence so near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we are in our journey with You right now, we can look back and see that You have brought us a great distance from where we once were. Thank You that You are faithful to transform, renew and restore us, as You lead us forward into the promise of all that You have planned for us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us from moving forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may quickly recall all that You have done for us before, raising up in our hearts, a renewed strength and sense of purpose that will propel us forward toward who You are calling us to become. Lead us to love others with the same tender and relentless love that You have given to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember how far You have brought us, and lead us to move boldly forward into what we are to become. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Worth More

Despite how we feel, or how we are received by others, we are highly valued by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – (Luke 12:7)

Jesus was speaking to His disciples to beware of the Pharisees, but not to fear. He pointed out that even the sparrows that were sold for mere coins, were not forgotten by God. God intimately knows each of us. He knit us and formed us in our mother’s womb. For each of us, the Lord has plans to prosper and not to harm us – a hope and a future. Though people can cause bodily harm, they cannot steal our soul. When we commit our hearts to Christ, we have the security and assurance of His presence now, and all of eternity in heaven. May we rest assured in the security of being intimately known by our loving Savior, who values each one of us, individually.

 

Intimately known,Sparrow2

and loved just the same;

by the Lord of all,

give praise to His Name.

Let’s not be afraid,

to Him we have worth;

He knew us before,

the day of our birth.

The number of hairs,

on our heads are known;

for Christ truly loves,

and calls us His own.

Let each heart rise up,

and give God all praise;

each day unto Him,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are intimately known by You, and loved anyway. Thank You that in You, we have nothing to fear, as You do not forget any of Your created. Thank You that You value each one of us, not for what we have accomplished, but because we are Yours. Forgive us for our fearfulness and for our feelings that we are somehow forgotten or not covered and cared for. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might slow down and be still, giving our hearts opportunity to hear and acknowledge all that You are, and just how much You love us. Lead us to love others, as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified Lord God, as we rise up in recognition of who You are, and the wonder of Your love for all. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Delivering Dreams

When a dream long dreamed seems all but dead, it is difficult to hold fast to a promise that seems to have been forgotten. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, had longed to have children for many years, but had been barren. She was long past child-bearing age when she and Abraham were visited by angels on their way to carry out the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. During their short stay, they told Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would conceive a son. Sarah, in her sorrow, bitterness, and unbelief because of her advanced years, laughed in response to what had been spoken. Abraham and Sarah traversed more trials in their travels, as they followed where God had called them to go. Just as the angels had foretold, Sarah conceived and bore to Abraham a son, Isaac. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” – (Genesis 21:6)

 

Though the timing was not what Sarah had hoped for, God was faithful to fulfill His promise, and her heart overflowed with joy. At the initial announcement of the promise, Sarah laughed in disbelief. When the God’s promise at last came to pass, Sarah laughed again, this time for joy in awe and wonder of the goodness of God. We have the benefit of the Bible. Throughout the pages, countless stories of God’s faithfulness are recorded for our benefit. Additionally, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, to remind us that His word is true, and He is faithful to all that He promises to do. May we hold fast to God’s promises to us, and ever forge forward in faith, trusting that God is always good.

 

The Giver of dreams,Delivering Dreams

our Lord God above;

true to His promise,

and faithful in love.

No matter how long,

we seemingly wait;

we’re not forgotten,

and God’s never late.

His timing’s perfect,

all things by His plan;

in faith, we must trust,

it’s all in His hands.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good. Thank You that what You promise, You provide. Thank You that You ways are higher than our ways, and Your timing is not according to our timetable. Forgive us for our impatience and our lack of faith when the wait is long, and help us to trust and persevere. Teach us to hold fast to Your word, and keep our hearts from discouragement and disbelief. Lead us to love well, just as You so generously and faithfully love each of us. May many come to know of Your goodness and faithfulness for themselves, and may we be used as Your instruments to share of how You have been faithful in our own lives. Be exalted O God, as we forge forward in faith, trusting in Your eternal goodness and grace. Amen.

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

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

Favored, Not Forgotten

Have you ever felt rejected or forgotten by God? Psalm 74 is a great reminder of what we ought to do when we find ourselves in such a space. Our God is big enough to hear our concerns, yet as we pause and reflect on who He is, we will begin to remember just how great He truly is. The first line of Psalm 74 begins with: Why have You rejected us forever, O God? A mere eleven verses later, the Psalmist writes: But You, O God, are my king from of old; You bring salvation upon the earth. As the writer continues to unpack the memories of God’s power and faithfulness, faith seems to rise up, and requests are made with confidence.

 

What can we do when we find ourselves in a similar space – a place where we feel as if we are out of the favor of our Heavenly Father? If we follow the example set before us in Psalm 74, first, we need to be honest with God and let Him know how we are feeling. He is a loving Father, and will not be crushed by our honest admission of frustration or doubt. Next, we ought to spend some time remembering times of His favor and faithfulness. As we speak of the great things He has done, faith rises up, and strength for the stretch ahead, seems to return. Finally, we are meant to ask the Lord for His help. If we are afraid, we need to pray for His courage to rise up within us. If we are weary and worn, we need ask for His strength to sustain. He is, where we are not. May we seek the Lord honestly, and remember all that He has done.

 

Seasons of silence,Do Everything in Love

quiet and alone;

feeling forgotten,

wanting to be shown.

Stop and remember,

the Lord’s faithfulness;

His grace and mercy,

in times of distress.

Time and time again,

His hand, evident;

He rescued and loved,

His peace swiftly sent.

Cry out to the Lord,

for He will give ear;

to all that we ask,

His presence is clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we feel like we are alone and abandoned, You are present and moving on our behalf. Thank You that our feelings are not indicators of Your working. Thank You that we can come to You and speak to You honestly and openly, wherever we are at, and You still love us the same. Thank You for Your faithfulness throughout the ages, so that we can look back and see and remember how faithful You truly are. Forgive us for doubting Your presence or Your willingness to intervene on our behalf because Your timeline is different from our own. Teach us to trust You and Your timing, and grant us Your peace in the waiting. May we persevere with confidence, trusting in You alone. Let us love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to trust You even when we are unaware of Your presence. 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

Numb No More

Yesterday afternoon, I had what I thought was to be a quick cleaning at the dentist. Foolishly, I had forgotten that it was actually an appointment scheduled to fill three teeth on the bottom right side of my mouth that had been damaged during a stretch of time when my night guard had gone missing. As an individual who typically blows through anesthesia before procedures are complete, my delightful dentist was proactive and properly prepared me by providing an extra strong dose of numbing agent prior to the procedure. After staying numb through the entire drilling drama, I had to rush off to return to school for one final student led conference before the day’s end.

The right side of my face, tongue, and lips were still numb. Partial paralysis was in full force, and I was feeling quite foolish as I hurried to my classroom. Fortunately, the student and his family did not seem to notice, or if they did, they were polite enough not to stare at my right side as I spoke.

What I feel like the Holy Spirit wants me to hear this morning, is a reminder of how much each part of the body affects the whole. When a small part becomes numb, the whole cannot function as well without that part’s capable contribution. The other parts may attempt to somehow make up the difference, but they cannot ever really do the job. Each of us are a part of the body. We have been called and created with a purpose. In order to walk out our purpose, we must be in tune with our Heavenly Father. Reading in Galatians this morning, the verse that reiterated what I am hearing is: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) God wants all of us – our whole lives, not just a part. We cannot just give Him Sunday mornings and then be numb to Him during the week, nor can we give Him our emotions and physical needs, but not commit our intellect and our vocation to Him. We must let Him into every aspect of our lives, and allow Him to reign. As we give Him control, we are refined, and the formerly numb spaces begin to tingle with new life.

Let the Lord lead,Better is One Day

give Him the whole;

choose to submit,

allow Him control.

No more be numb,

may our hearts hear;

as He whispers,

truth in our ears.

All to the One,

faithful to lead;

our strength and grace,

in Him, we’re freed.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with a plan and a purpose. Thank You that You give life abundant, when we trust in You. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to become numb in any area, or for neglecting to give any part of ourselves over to You. Please bring these places to our attention as You teach us truth, and help our hearts become aware of the tingling felt as our lives are being restored in You. May we live and love like You, and may many come to know You as their Heavenly Father, so they too may have life abundant in You. Amen.

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