Tag Archive: formed


Every day they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. – (Acts 2:46, CEB)

The believers shared a common purpose, and every day they spent much of their time together in the temple area. They also ate together in their homes. They were happy to share their food and ate with joyful hearts. – (Acts 2:46, ERV)

 

I love the value that was placed on community in the early church. There is nothing that brings people together better than sharing a meal with joy and generosity. When those around us who are united in purpose come together as family, the joy that is discovered in fellowship over a meal is multiplied. Each summer, my church creates opportunity for family connect groups. These groups meet one evening a week for a meal at a host home during the month of August, as new friendships are discovered and relationships are formed. My first connect group of the year begins this evening, and I am reminded of the early church as I prepare to go. Though I know not who will be in attendance, I anticipate joy and gladness as we gather in grace to share a meal together. May we ever seek opportunities to gather together with those around us, and meet with others to share a meal with joy – as God so often uses such circumstances to form friendships He intended to occur all along.

 

Actively look for, Welcome Boxes 1

People that we know;

To join together,

So His grace may flow.

With hearts full of joy,

May we freely share;

What we’ve been given,

So all know You care.

May our hearts be filled,

As we share a meal;

Joy overflowing,

His way is ideal.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be in community. Thank You that You call us to continue to do what the early church did – to gather together to worship and to share meals and fellowship together. Forgive us for isolating ourselves and not plugging into the community to which we are called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to go where You call and invite others to share time and fellowship and food with us. Show us how to love well the people that You have placed in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we gather together with gladness. Amen.

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

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

For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb before I took my first breath. – (Psalm 139:13, VOICE)

You formed the way I think and feel. You put me together in my mother’s womb. – (Psalm 139:13, ERV)

 

At the very beginning of our existence, there was God and our mother. No matter what the circumstance or situation, each one of our mothers chose to carry us to term, and God knit us together in the space of our mother’s womb. I know for some, there is sorrow connected to Mother’s Day, either for lack or loss or what should have been. For those who are mourning, I pray that He would hold your heart in His hands and remind You that He is with you in a tangible way. On the other side of motherhood, may those who have mothers who have been invested and available, find way to extend appreciation today and always. Additionally, each of us have been shaped to touch the lives of those around us. Whether we are mothers by blood or not, it takes little to see those around us who could use the love and encouragement that a maternal figure can offer. May we recognize the remarkable work that our Redeemer did, even before we drew our first breath, and let us also go forth and love well as He has called us to love.

 

Shaped with a purpose,Made to Mother

Before our first breath;

It is no mistake,

We’ve life over death.

Each mother gave life,

Now we have a role;

To rise up in faith,

Let Christ make us whole.

For God is so good,

His heart of love finds;

Ways for us to give,

Grace and hope that binds.

May we choose to be,

Sister and mother;

One who loves as Christ,

Our heart to others.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of mothers. Thank You for the mothers who love well, and show us what it is to love as You love us. Thank You that even the mothers who did not love well, chose to give life and allowed You to create the gift of the life that exists before us. Thank You that You comfort those who mourn, and that You can use any heart that is willing to speak life as a mother to those who are lacking. Forgive us for not fully appreciating the gift we have around us in the women You have placed in our lives to be motherly to us. Teach us to love and appreciate the gifts that You so generously give. Show us how to love those in need, as we are so lavishly loved by You. Thank You for the amazing gift of my own Momma. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the remarkable that You have done, and go forth in love as we are called. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

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, NIV)

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. – (2 Corinthians 1:3, VOICE)

 

This morning, I find myself in a strange space – torn between grief and gladness; sorting between sorrow and surrender. My whole life, my grandmother has been a very real and powerful presence. Her faithfulness to our Heavenly Father, paired with the gifts that He birthed within her that she used without restraint, have been the model that I have looked to, and one whom I admire most. Gram has always been the glue that bound our family to one another. Despite differences, each of us has had a unique and treasured gift in the bond that she has formed with us, individually. The ability to see the value in people and set their heart at peace simply by being in her presence, is a trait that drew so many unto her.  She lived a live unrivaled, faithful in all that she endeavored. Gram served her family, her church, her community, and above all, God. The love grown deep in the quiet time on her knees, overflowed to all who knew her. No matter what I was going through, I knew she was covering me in prayer. After ninety-eight years on the earth, and a long year of colon cancer taking root and stealing the independence she had always known, she went home to be with Jesus last night. I am grateful that her suffering was not prolonged, yet grieve not getting one more visit. God is compassionate, and He offers comfort to us as we mourn. Though there is much sorrow for the personal loss of the phenomenal person my grandmother was, it is tempered with great joy in knowing that she is singing with our Savior. No more sorrow, no more pain. I imagine a great celebration as she is reunited with so many who have gone before her. May we all take comfort in the Father of compassion and comfort, as we give praise for the blessings we’ve been given in the time we had.

 

This morning, it seems appropriate that I share one of my grandma’s poems rather than write my own. Her words are likely the echo of what she is singing right now.

 

Song of Praise – by Rosemary Steiner

Glory and majestyPraise in Mourning

To the Lord God,

Who created the Heavens

And the Earth;

And breathed life

Into all creatures,

Even us, His people.

He gave meaning to our being;

He called us brothers

And prepared a place

For us with Him

Eternally.

He breathed life into us,

Transcendent life of the Spirit –

Gave us eyes to see beauty,

Ears to hear truth,

Wills to choose His way.

The heavens reflect His omnipotence

Time without end.

God enjoys the music of the spheres,

But hears our dissonance

With compassion,

How worthy is He.

How infinite His love.

Holy be His Name forever. Amen.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift that so many of us were given through the long and loving life of Gram. Thank You that though we mourn her passing, we can celebrate her homecoming with You. Thank You that we have the blessed hope of being together again for all of eternity in heaven. Forgive us for our fears and regrets, and teach us to trust You so that we might fully live out each of our days, according to Your good and perfect will. Show us how to love with compassion and comfort, all those who grieve. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the faithfulness that has been fulfilled through the life of my grandmother. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give You praise, even as we mourn. Amen.

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

There is a time to cry, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. – (Hebrews 11:6, NLT)

Without faith no one can please God because the one coming to God must believe that He exists, and He rewards those who come seeking. – (Hebrews 11:6, VOICE)

 

Pleasing God comes through our choice to believe that He is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. When we trust Him, we choose to seek Him. It is in our seeking that we find the presence and power of God. The more we seek after our Savior, the greater our understanding of who He is and how He loves. He is pleased with our seeking, and we in turn, discover the great reward of knowing more of Him. May we trust in Him who is the author and finisher of our faith, as it is pleasing unto the Lord when we seek Him.

 

Faith is formed in us,

Hold Hope He is Faithful

image from quotespictures.com

When we choose to seek;

Our Heavenly Lord,

Even when we’re weak.

We must trust in Him,

In all that He is;

This is what’s pleasing,

And shows we are His.

For God He rewards,

Those who choose to come;

It‘s why the Lord gave,

The gift of His Son.

Seek after the Lord,

His power and might;

As He is for us,

No matter our plight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and seek after You, trusting that You are God and we are not, You are pleased and reward us with Your help and hope. Forgive us for our lack of faith and teach us to trust You more. Lead us to sincerely seek You in all things and at all times, trusting that You will meet us in our every moment, as You are faithful and far greater than anything we may face. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too will come to believe that You are who You say You are. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to You, believing that You are the One true God who is for us. 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

 

This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord formed it and established it – the Lord is His Name: Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

 

The promises of God are the same yesterday, today and forever. He who formed all that is out of nothing, is willing to hear our requests, and will show us what we need to know. God is faithful to answer when we seek Him and listen for His voice. Not limited by our human understanding, the Lord will answer in His way, not ours. When we ask for understanding and answers, we can be certain that He will be faithful to answer, but almost equally certain that it will not necessarily be in the way in which we envision. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and so too are His ways, higher than our ways. When we learn what the Lord has to say, we must have faith to act according to what He has spoken. May we trust in His unfailing love, as we call on the Lord for answers and He teaches us the unsearchable things that we do not know.

 

He who made the earth,

image from quotespictures.com

image from quotespictures.com

established all things;

is willing to hear,

the questions we bring.

As we choose to ask,

God’s faithful to show;

unsearchable things,

that we don’t yet know.

A matter of trust,

in our choice to seek;

He remains the same,

each day of the week.

Let us go to Him,

as we need to know;

His love never fails,

and the truth He’ll show.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and available always. Thank You that we can seek You and ask You for answers to that which we need to know, and You will reveal to us, great and unsearchable things. Thank You that the more we spend time seeking You and praising You, the more we grow to understand who You are and how much You love us. Forgive us for not seeking You in our stuck spaces, and teach us to trust You more, so that we seek Your wisdom in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others so that they too may come to know Your unfailing love for themselves. Be glorified O God, as we ask You for the answers to that which we do not know, that keep us from moving forward to where You are calling us to go. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

If we live our lives focused on rules and regulations, rather than on He who formed us and set our very lives in motion, we become trapped in the trying to do enough in accordance to all that is written by man’s own hand. However, if we invest our heart, mind, soul and strength into seeking God and receiving the grace that He freely offers, we cannot help but pursue doing good. It is in that space of God’s grace, that we find freedom to become who He has called us to be, and we are set free from the chains that once held us captive to sin.

 

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. – (Romans 6:14)

 

Christ came as the perfect sacrifice so that we would no longer have to make sacrifices for our every sin. Instead, He was the ultimate offering for all that we have ever done, and shall ever do. Because of His amazing grace, we no longer are mastered by sin, but rather may allow our Maker to be our Master, as His reign is done in grace, and His goodness and love lead hearts to repent and return to Him. May we let go of the law that binds us to sin, and embrace His grace as we invite the Lord to be the Master of our lives.

 

Allow not your sin,Answers As We Ask

to master your life;

for living that way,

will just lead to strife.

In Christ we are not,

stuck under the law;

but rather by grace,

to live life we’re called.

Because it’s a gift,

that Christ freely gave;

we’re drawn to repent,

so we can be saved.

Receive what He gives,

as we are set free;

so others may know,

Whom they see in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer need to be slaves to sin because You sent Your Son to pay the penalty for ALL. Thank You that when we give our hearts and lives to You, we are ruled by Your goodness and grace, and are compelled to do good, rather than required to do enough or be enough to earn Your favor. Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, rather than investing all that we are in our relationship with You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen to Your leading and walk obediently wherever You are asking. Lead us to love without limits, and help many to come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You as You ask us to, as we receive the gift of Your grace that You freely give. Amen.

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of Your hands. – (Psalm 138:8)

 

God is faithful to fulfill His promises, and His presence remains, forever. The Lord loves with an everlasting love, as we are the work of His hands. It is imperative that we listen and learn, allowing His heart to shape ours, so that as we go forth pursuing the passions placed within us, they align with His will for our lives. As we navigate our days, it is good and necessary to follow David’s example, and include thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness for answered prayer. May we continue to seek the Lord and His purpose for our lives, as we embrace His everlasting love that He so generously pours out upon us, the wondrous works or His hands.

 

Faithful forever,Praise Through Our Purpose

is our loving God;

with plans and purpose,

we grant Him all laud.

He won’t abandon,

the works of His hands;

each one He has formed,

made us with a plan.

We must choose listen,

allow Him be heard;

so that our passions,

be led by His word.

All thanks be to God,

Who’s faithful and just;

He loves with His life,

let’s give Him our trust.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have plans and purposes for each of us, the works of Your hands. Thank You that Your love endures forever, and that Your promises persist for all time. Forgive us for not giving our whole heart or undivided attention to You and Your will for our lives, and help us to fully submit ourselves unto You. Teach us to trust You completely, as You are completely worthy of our trust. May we live and love as You have planned and designed us to do, and may many come to know You as a result. Be exalted Lord God, as we praise You through walking out our purpose. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition is attending our New Year’s Eve drop-in service.  It is not like a typical church service.  Rather, it is a time to reflect, anticipate, and allow Him to speak, while hearts are quiet and ready to listen.  The first thing to do upon entry, is grab an envelope, blank piece of paper and a pen.  Our charge is to write down our reflections about where we have been, and where we hope to go with God, in the coming year.  There is a bit more to it than that, but that is the gist.  Our pastoral staff then holds our self-addressed, sealed letters, and mails them back to us around Easter.  It is truly remarkable to be reminded again of what He has done, and to observe what has come of the new year, thus far.  After writing and sealing our note to self, we go forward to a pair that is prepared to pray for us.  They wait on Him, and share what the Lord places on their hearts.

As I read the first two chapters of Genesis this morning, what stood out to me, is that after each new thing that God created and called into being, it is followed by the sentence: “And God saw that it was good.”  God saw that every single thing that He formed and gave life and breath to, was good.  We are His created.  He sees us, and calls us good – not because of our behavior, but rather because we are His creation.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  The very same God who saw that all He had created was good, moves mountains and does the miraculous still today.  One of the words that was given to me last evening, was to “look for the miraculous; not necessarily even where I’ve been asking, but to watch for unexpected miracles.”  For me, this is a reminder to be full of hope and anticipation, for God is indeed, good.  The miraculous takes places all around us every day, but so often it goes unnoticed.  I want to embrace this new year with my head up, eyes open, and my heart ready to receive all that He has prepared for me.

With head held high,Watching in Wonder

eyes ready to see;

all that He has,

miracles for me.

Peace in places,

it’s rarely been found;

silent stillness,

to hear heaven’s sound.

What will await,

in this coming year?

Courage to fight,

in the face of fear?

I look ahead,

with heart open wide;

may I receive,

more of You inside.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and kind, and that You love us with an everlasting love.  Thank You that when we call on You, You answer, and that You have good things for Your created, whom You love.  Forgive us for being unaware of how mighty You are all around us, and may we be ever aware of the unexpected miracles that are taking place.  Help us to embrace Your goodness and grace, so that we may love others, as You love us.  May many come to know new life in You.  Let Your light shine bright through us, before all.  Amen.

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

He WillNow the word of the Lord,

who created us all;

He who formed each of us,

and asks us to stand tall.

In Him, we shall not fear,

for we have been redeemed;

He has summoned us each,

we are His, He has deemed.

As we pass through turmoil,

when the waters, they rage;

He will not let us sink,

He has numbered our days.

When we walk through the fire,

He’ll not let us be burned;

as we trust in His word,

hold hope in what we’ve learned.

For He is the Lord God,

the Ruler of all things;

He’ll be with us always,

He is why freedom rings.

To Him we are precious,

and honored in His sight;

He loves us and keeps us,

for His children, He’ll fight.

(Responding to Isaiah 43:1-4)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we choose You, You fight for us. Thank You that though we will walk through trials and difficulties, You promise to be with us. Thank You that You are our strength, when our strength is gone; and You are our hope, even when things seem hopeless. Forgive us for our fears – the places where we struggle to trust You – and teach us how to truly trust in You. Thank You that You are always faithful, and that You love us and treasure us as Your precious children. May we walk boldly in Your love, so that many may come to know the freedom that is found in You alone. Amen.

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