Faithful Love

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to the sky. Your faithfulness is as high as the clouds. – (Psalm 36:5, ERV)

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. – (Psalm 36:5, NLT)

Your steadfast love, O Lord, is as great as all the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. – (Psalm 36:5, TLB)

 

It is with great joy and an overflowing heart, that I can testify of God’s great faithfulness in my own life. For far too many years, I existed in a world where “love” had conditions and the price was losing much of who I was, and hiding who I was meant to be. After making the agonizing decision to get out of that which was destroying me and detrimental to my boys, I began to learn just how faithful the Lord’s love is for me, personally. I rediscovered my passion, drive, and my voice, and began to discover the depth and breadth of His love and care, as I sought Him in all things. About a year and a half ago, I was visiting with my best friend out on her deck, when she got a text message back from an old friend in response to a mechanical question that she had asked him earlier. Polite, casual conversation, soon turned to his curiosity as to who I was, and whether or not I was single. Her response was, “Not for you.” The banter back and forth that continued that evening between the three of us led to him asking my permission to message me. I verified with my dear friend the safety of doing so, and the rest is history. Last evening, as we gathered with great friends for a Bunco night, my Viking surprised everyone with his sweet proposal, right there, as we were taking a break between rounds. My heart can hardly contain the joy and excitement for the life that we are learning to build together as we spend as much time as we are able as a to-be family of five. The Lord is faithful beyond what we could hope or imagine and we must choose to trust in the power of His perfect love.

 

The Lord’s faithfulness, img_2018-01-21_08-00-532054400719.jpg

Goes beyond what’s seen;

We must simply trust,

The time in between.

Though trust is scary,

To hold what’s unseen;

Love beyond measure,

As God intervenes.

So great is His love,

And that which He gives;

His faithful blessings,

All trust as we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible faithfulness of Your great love, and how You hold us in Your hands. Thank You that You pick us up, dust us off, and heal the wounded places to prepare us to receive so much more than we ever would have thought possible. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust when we cannot see Your hand. Teach us to trust You more, as You are faithful forever, and have great things in store for those who follow after You. Thank You for the incredible gift of this man that You brought into my life when I had no intention to risk love again. Thank You for showing me Your heart in new ways through the love that I receive. Show us how to give love that demonstrates Your faithfulness in ways that encourage and touch hearts most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all praise for Your faithful loving ways forever. Amen.

 

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

 

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Being the Body

For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too – the many – are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone. – (Romans 12:4-5, VOICE)

 

As I read this passage through several times, I thought about how it applies to my own life. Stepping back, I can see how true this is, not only in my church circle, but at home, at work, and among my groupings of friends. In each arena, God has gathered people with different strengths, gifts and talents, and placed us together with purpose. Where one of us is weak, another is strong. In a space where wisdom or experience are necessary, there is one among us who has been there to build up, encourage or advise. This is yet another reminder that we were created to be in community. Who we are and what we have to give is far more meaningful and effective when joined together with others. Balance, beauty and strength in our everyday lives the way God intended, become recurring reality, rather than a one-day hope. Yes, there will be days that are messy and feel a bit fractured, but if our pursuit is to seek God and be joined in the body as He intended, the difficult days will be well worth the work. May we ever choose to seek the Lord and be invested in community as we are called.

 

We’re each created,Called to be Family 1

With a role in mind;

As God’s given gifts,

To join and align.

For as we gather,

Together as one;

Each part fills a role,

To rise, get things done.

We all have purpose,

That is magnified;

When joined with others,

God’s strength realized.

 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us individually with different strengths and functions and purpose. Thank You that You intended each of us to be in community so that our strengths could be utilized together to accomplish Your call and build up one another in You. Thank You that You place us in community when we seek You. Forgive us for not fully investing in the communities we are in, or for withholding the very things that You have birthed in us to share. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would utilize that which You have given us to share for the benefit of the body. Show us how to love all those whom You have placed in the communities we are called to invest in. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we join with one another to become together what we could not be alone. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Good and Faithful Forever

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. – (1 Chronicles 16:34, NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord because He is good. His faithful love will last forever. – (1 Chronicles 16:34, ERV)

 

This morning, though I woke easily to my alarm, my heart did not feel prepared to return to my regular routine. So much was packed into the four-day weekend, that no real rest was had and I found myself longing for Christmas break. As the above passage appeared as the verse of the day on my Bible app on my phone, I had a bit of an attitude adjustment. Though I am still very much looking forward to a longer break, I am so grateful for the abundant blessings that He poured out upon me over the past four days. My boys and I were kept safe as we traveled a few hundred miles south to my sister’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving, and had an uneventful drive home. I am grateful for the fantastic family time that we had together, and know how blessed we were to be able to spend time. God’s goodness continued to be poured out upon us as we spent our entire Saturday gathering with dear friends. Sunday was filled with our church family and the typical necessary preparations for the coming week. The Lord’s faithful love was made evident through the hands and hearts of all of those with whom we gathered. My heart is full and I am thankful for God’s goodness that lasts forever. May we slow down and recognize the goodness of God that is all around us, and give thanks to Him whose faithful love endures forever.

 

Let our hearts give thanks,Enter With Thanksgiving

Because God is good;

His love always lasts,

Our hope understood.

When life is busy,

Take pause and slow down;

We need remember,

Where our peace is found.

All thanks to the Lord,

For love that endures;

No matter what comes,

In Him, hope’s secure.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your faithful love lasts forever. Thank You that You bless us and keep us and remain with us, no matter what lies before us. Forgive us for our lack of gratitude for the things that You have done. Teach us to have hearts full of thanks and praise, regardless of what is presented before us. Help us to trust You more, so that we would remember that Your goodness and faithfulness remain forever, no matter what we see. Show us how to love others with goodness and faithfulness, just as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks because You are good and faithful forever. Amen.

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

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

Willing to Share

I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart, I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. – (Psalm 9:1NLT)

All my heart will give thanks to You, Eternal One. I will tell others about Your amazing works. – (Psalm 9:1, VOICE)

 

Yesterday evening was the final gathering of ladies for our six-week study on “Telling Our Stories“. We gathered as a large group, but were seated in small group tables, to provide opportunity for discussion. What I loved hearing throughout our time together, was the common thread of God’s faithfulness through difficulties, and that He was somehow now using those very experiences to lead us to care well for others in similar struggles. The very things that He was so faithful to bring us out of or lead us through, were the same spaces that our hearts were being drawn to love others well. Though we have countless reasons to praise Him with all of our hearts, we tend to gravitate toward that which resonates the most clearly for us, personally. As He provides opportunity for us to share our own stories, even in small ways, it is overwhelming to see how He uses our willingness to share. May we continue to give thanks and praise to Him who grants us all of our days, and may we share of all of the wondrous works that He has done in us and for us, so others too might see the light and life found in Him.

 

May we give our praise,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and thanks to the Lord;

with all of our hearts,

let Christ be adored.

For His great wonders,

the work of His hands;

for how He loves us,

and fulfills His plans.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

that we have to tell;

a story of grace,

how You’ve loved us well.

Grant us the courage,

the time and the space;

to share with others,

Your goodness and grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so well, no matter where we are or what we are going through. Thank You that You are faithful and full of love and grace. Forgive us for not giving You the praise that You deserve, or for not sharing of the wonders that You have done to make the difference in our own lives. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would praise You with all of our heart, and be quick to share with others, the wonders of Your mighty works in our own lives. Show us how to love others well, so that we may be Your instruments of grace and peace to those who need it most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all of our praise and share of the mighty things that You have done. Amen.

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

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

Evidence to Know

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. – (Romans 1:20, NLT)

 

As dear friends gathered last night down at the pier to light and release sky lanterns with our kids, none of us could help but be in awe of the clear, night sky. The moon was brightly out, and the stars shined proudly, as if to welcome our lanterns as they were launched into the frigid night air. It is difficult to fathom looking up into that sky, so full of stars, and not believe in the One who hand hung each one. There is such order and intentionality in the stars, and in each person that exists on the planet. God’s eternal power and divine nature is found through each of our senses, if we only give attention to that which is around us. All that is good, all that is lovely, all that is wonderful – He created for our delight. May we begin this new page of our story with child-like eyes, as we observe in awe and wonder, all that He has created in us and for us.

 

In awe and wonder,photo (2)

let us all draw near;

embrace what’s made known,

for Christ made things clear.

With all that we are,

life, hope and each breath;

may we see His truth,

the height and the depth.

All things so lovely,

made for you and me;

let us ever seek,

His sweet Majesty.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is evidence of Your existence everywhere. Thank You that You created such beauty and goodness all around us. Thank You that Your eternal power and divine nature can be observed in Your creation. Forgive us for not giving proper credit where it is due. Teach us to see the world with child-like eyes, so that we may never lose the awe and wonder of all that You have made. Let the evidence we observe continue to further fuel our faith in You. Show us how to love others in a way that clearly demonstrates Your nature, so that they may see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we stand in awe of all that You have made around us and in us. 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

 

The Next Right Thing

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. – (Psalm 82:3-4)

 

We are not all charged to do everything, but we are each called to do something. Each of the needs mentioned in the verses above exist both globally and locally. There are orphans, kids in foster care, there are poor, imprisoned, there are those who are in need, and many trapped in the hands of the wicked and unable to set themselves free. We are called to walk through life with our eyes, ears and hearts open. When we do, we are willing to hear the Lord’s call, and answer however He asks. Sometimes, it is in a way that seems small and insignificant to us, yet our willingness to respond will mean the world to the recipient.

 

Welcome Boxes 1A few days ago, I had the joy of working with some ladies from my church to put together welcome boxes for kids being pulled from their homes by CPS and placed in foster care. Some of these kiddos barely have the opportunity to pack even a change of clothes, so these boxes are a special way to offer comfort in the midst of crisis. Each box contains encouraging notes, gifts and toiletries, to remind the child that there are people who do care, despite the chaos that is currently surrounding them. If it weren’t for the obedience and listening ear of one of my friends, none of us would have been aware of the need, nor would we have gathered to do a small thing that we each could do. May we each go forth this day, with eyes, ears and hearts open, ready to hear how the Lord might call us to defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed, or how we can help rescue the weak and needy from the hands of the wicked.

 

Welcome Boxes 2

To find out more about making Welcome Boxes, please contact: JenniferJoyKeener@gmail.com

Lord help me to walk,

with eyes open wide;

aware of the needs,

that others may hide.

Let me be Your hands,

where I can go serve;

show me how to love,

as the lost deserve.

Help me see the need,

and then show me how;

to do what You ask,

not later, right now.

Each day, may I rise,

ready to go be;

Your heart and Your hands,

to set captives free.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Defender and Rescuer. Thank You that You saved us from all of our ugliness and delivered us from the calamity that was to come. Thank You that You call us to be a part of moving beside You in defending those who cannot defend themselves, helping those in need, and rescuing those who are stuck in situations that are too great for them to get out of on their own. Forgive us for turning a blind eye to need, or for standing still as we allow the great need to overwhelm us, rather than simply listen to Your call and how we can do the next right thing. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will rise up and be ready to do each next thing that You ask of us. Lead us to love with all that we are, just as You love us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they come to know the hope that is held in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we choose to do each next right thing. 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

To Receive Rest

Clearly, Christ is calling me into a season of rest, despite the dizzying pace of life all around me. In the midst of the craziness, I find myself blessed with a weekend without an agenda. This morning, I was able to wake without an alarm, and the time I rose, was a few hours later than my typical Saturday morning movement. Today holds only the honor of time with treasured friends. No schedule. No must do’s. Just time together, enjoying catching up after nearly a year since we last gathered. Rather than rushing around to take care of errands and schedules and the this and that’s that need to be accomplished, today will simply require me to be in the moment, and enjoy the precious time that I have been granted.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – (Matthew 11:28)
He is so faithful to provide as we choose to abide. As I continue to hand Him my heavy burdens, Christ creates these precious places where my heart is filled and my spirit is refreshed, as He knows what I need and how to best give my weary soul, rest. May we continue to come before Him who is abundantly able to supply all of our needs, and allow the miraculous exchange to take place – our weariness for His glorious rest.
Come all you weary,Acceptance As We Acknowledge

for the Lord knows best;

how to lift us up,

and grant our souls rest.

He takes our burdens,

and carries the load;

gives strength where we’re weak,

and hope we can hold.

The Lord is faithful,

come near and abide;

let Christ come refresh,

as His love will guide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us where we are, and for being the place where we can find rest. Thank You that we can come to You when we are weary and burdened, and You give us rest. Thank You that the rest You give is far greater than that which we would even ask or hope for, as You know what we need better than we do. Forgive us for not seeking You in our weariness, and teach us to trust You even when our burdens feel unbearable. Lead us to love others with the same sort of tenacity that You have towards each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to You with our weariness and receive Your remarkable rest. 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

Belief in the Battle

In the story of David and Goliath, David was still but a boy, going obediently to his brothers on the battle lines, to deliver food rations. Upon his arrival, he became aware of the sinister situation with the giant called Goliath. David was infuriated when he heard Goliath making a mockery of the Israelites, and inquired as to why nothing had been done. Because David had stood against various giants before as a shepherd in the fields, (a lion and a bear) and God had given him the strength to overcome each, he knew that God would be with him in the same way against this Philistine who was defying the living God. David was so confident in the Lord, that his own words as he faced Goliath included “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” – (1 Samuel 17:47)

 

David’s unwavering faith resulted in an end to a forty-day stand-off. God granted victory to the Israelites because David was willing to faithfully take a stand. God hears our call for His help, and is present for all who seek Him. Those who know Your Name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. – (Psalm 9:10)

 

Though we may not always see results right away, as David did, when we trust in the Lord, He will not forsake us. He is present, and He is worthy of all of our trust, despite the way things appear. May we rise up with faith like David’s, even when face our own Goliath. God is with us, and the battle belongs to Him.

 

Real obedience,Facing the Giants

is faith on the move;

going where He calls,

trusting His word’s true.

When in the battle,

let us trust the fight;

not to our own strength,

but to the Lord’s might.

For He won’t forsake,

those who call on Him;

so let us each trust,

the Lord enter in.

He saves us from death,

and certain defeat;

judgment and justice,

the Lord’s to complete.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we may face giants before us, every battle belongs to You. Thank You that we can trust in You, just as David did, knowing that it is You in us that will strengthen and equip us to face what lies in front of us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us stuck, rather than moving in obedience. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move as You ask, and allow You to fight for us, through us, and in us, so that we may come to know the victory that You have in store for each of our lives. Lead us to love others with the same relentless love that You give to us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You as a result. Be magnified O God, as we walk fearlessly in obedience in the battles, and allow You room to fight on our behalf. Amen.

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

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

May Compassion Compel Us to Action

During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion for these people: they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” – (Mark 8:1-3)

 

Jesus identified a practical need of the people before Him, and went beyond simple concern. Christ’s compassion compelled Him to action, and He carried out another miraculous feeding of the masses. Likewise, the Lord sees and knows our daily needs. He is concerned for us, just as He was for those who had gathered to hear Him. God is never too busy to hear us, nor too callous to not care for our needs. He provides what we need when we need it, though often in ways we would never expect. We are meant to be available vessels, as often He uses us to be His hands and feet to supply what is needed for another. Our hearts ought to be ever open to hear Him, so that we may be ready to reach out however He may ask. Likewise, we need also be willing to receive that which the Lord provides through others, as they may very well be the supply to where we are lacking. May we go forth with open hands and hearts, ready to give and receive all that the Lord has for us.

 

The Lord knows our need,May Compassion Compel Us to Action

far better than us;

that is why He sent,

precious Lord Jesus.

Not one of us could,

live life without sin;

we needed saving,

so Christ entered in.

Beyond the big needs,

Christ cares for the small;

He sees where we lack,

and provides for all.

May hearts be open,

to do as He asks;

to give or receive,

trust Him in each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God who sees and knows our needs before we do. Thank You that You care for us and provide in ways that we could not even fathom. Thank You that You invite us to partner with You as Your instruments of peace, to go forth and be Your hands and feet to a world in need. Forgive us for not going where You call us to go, or for refusing to receive what You are providing through another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may have Your eyes to see what is right before us. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be exalted O God, as we allow compassion to lead us to action wherever You call us to go. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

The Purpose of Perseverance

Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. – (Acts 14:19-20a)

 

Perseverance is steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. It is also the continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation. – (www.dictionary.com)

 

Paul’s unwavering commitment to deliver the message he had been commissioned to preach, is the epitome of perseverance. He endured every possible obstacle, difficulty and discouragement, yet he continued in the grace that God gave. The very same power that resided in him, dwells in the heart of all who believe. We too, have the capacity to persevere in difficulty, and are able to overcome obstacles to accomplish all that He calls us to do, if we choose to rely on His grace as we go. Paul never delineated from the purpose of his calling, and stayed the course of sharing Christ with all whom he encountered. How has God called us to persevere? Where are we meant to persist and stay the course, in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement? May we take heart in He who is faithful, for in Him, we are more than conquerors.

 

Let not opposition,The Purpose of Perseverance

steer our hearts off course;

for our faithful Father,

has for us, much more.

If we will persevere,

when trials come near;

the truth shall be made known,

dispelling all fear.

To overcome challenge,

rely on His grace;

and seek the Lord always,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we find the strength and grace that is needed to persevere. Thank You that no difficulty, obstacle or discouragement is too great for Your grace. Thank You that You are more than enough. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the problem, rather than on You, our solution. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may fully embrace the grace that You are granting. Lead us to love and encourage all whom we encounter, just as You so love and encourage each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as our hearts respond to the grace You bring. Be glorified, O God, as we persevere in Your glorious grace. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7