Making Markers to Remember

“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will as you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – (Joshua 4:6-7, NLT)

…Someday when your children ask you, “Why are these stones piled up here?” You will tell them how the waters of the Jordan parted as the covenant chest of the Eternal One crossed the river, and those stones will fix that memory for the Israelites forever. – (Joshua 4:6-7, VOICE)

 

I love how often in the Old Testament that there are significant stories of God’s faithfulness where the people of God marked their story with stones of remembrance so that the memory of all that God had done will live on for the generations yet to come. I’m not sure when or where that practice was lost, but it makes me take pause to consider yet again, all of the times in my life where I could pile stones of remembrance of God’s faithfulness. The incredible thing about God is that He cares about the small things as well as the giants that cross our paths. One example of His provision and faithfulness for me came yesterday, as I have been dealing with a dead Keurig for the last two weeks. Yes, I know it is a luxury item and I have been abundantly blessed to have one, yet as a very early riser who starts the day with coffee, it has been sadly missed as I’ve had to brew coffee in a make-shift, rustic way. Yesterday, my love spent two hours disassembling the machine to replace the part that seemed to have gone bad. The inner workings of the machine are tiny and difficult to access, yet my Viking mechanic persisted. Once he replaced the part and turned the machine on, it came to life, only to refuse to work the way it was intended. The life of my coffee maker had expired. I had posted my appreciation for his hard work on Facebook, and he later commented about its demise. A sweet friend that I have not seen in quite a while, offered to give me her machine, as she has given up coffee and no longer uses hers. Just like that, something that is not even a need, but rather a want that is appreciated, was provided. Perhaps I need to form a stack of memorial “stones” from k-cups, to remind myself of His goodness and faithfulness, and to share with others, His kindness to me. We all have stories, both big and small, of the wonderful ways that God has provided in our lives. May we ever remember the things that He has done, and consider the stones of remembrance He is building in our lives.

 

Let us make markers, Making Markers to Remember

Of God’s faithfulness;

Ways to remember,

How we have been blessed.

For as we recall,

The good God has done;

Faith grows in others,

Our daughters and sons.

May we each take time,

To tell of His good;

How He’s provided,

Beside us, He stood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever. Thank You that You care about even the small details in our lives because You love us where we are. Thank You for the example that was set long ago, as Your people placed stones of remembrance to commemorate Your faithfulness to them. Forgive us for not acknowledging the ways that You meet us and bless us – both big and small, for Your hand is in it all. Teach us to remember and give You praise for all things. Show us how to set stones of remembrance in our hearts so that we would always have words of gratitude to give. Help us to love those around us in a way that creates reason to remember in their lives as well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember Your faithfulness and tell others of the great things that You have done. 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

Greater Than All

The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – (1 John 4:4b, NIV)

For the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. – (1 John 4:4b, MSG)

The One who lives within you is greater than the one in the world. – (1 John 4:4b, VOICE)

 

When we know God, and trust Him to be Lord of our lives, we need not fear. The very same power that parted seas, overcame armies, healed the sick, brought the dead back to life, and resurrected Jesus from the grave on the third day, dwells in the hearts of all who believe. If God is for us, who can stand against us? Though trials and struggles will come, in Christ, we know the ultimate victory is His. Even when there seems to be no hope, in Him, we have hope that holds our hearts forever. He moves mountains where they seem impossible to be moved, takes down giants that seem unstoppable, and loves even the seemingly least loveable on earth. May we ever trust the One who dwells within us, for He is far greater than all that is in the world.

 

No matter what comes,Our Map and Our Guide

We can always call;

Trust God within us,

He’s greater than all.

For there is no fear,

In His perfect love;

He’s strong when we’re weak,

Our grace from above.

No, there is nothing,

Too heavy for Him;

He’s ready to help,

If we let Him in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Spirit within us is far greater than anything that would come against us. Thank You that You are for us, and that Your strength is made perfect in our weakness. Thank You that we can call on You and depend on You in all things and at all times. Forgive us for our fearfulness when the world seems overwhelming. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would remember who we are in You, and allow Your strength to rise. Show us how to walk out Your call according to Your plan so that we would love well, all those whom You have placed in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You and Your strength within us, no matter what we see standing before 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

Strength and Courage Stand

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, AMP)

This is My command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

 

My heart leapt within me a little as I read that this was the verse of the day this morning. This particular verse has been especially significant in my life for the last few years as I have navigated a new season. Daily, I am reminded of the words of this verse, yet until this morning, I have not unpacked a few of the words within these two translations. As a self-professed “word nerd”, language fascinates me, and I do what I can to find further significance and meaning from written text. When I heard “dismayed“, I always thought distressed, but when I actually looked up the word, I was surprised to discover that dismayed means: to break down the courage of completely. Additionally, discouraged in my mind, dis – without or not, and courage, and one can figure what I assumed the word meant. “Discouraged” according to dictionary.com, is: to deprive of courage, hope or confidence. Both of these words go much deeper than I had anticipated. God does not want us to allow anything to break down nor deprive us of the courage that He has created within us. He commands us to be courageous – not in our own strength, but in His. We can take courage because He has promised to be with us wherever we go. That alone is reason to be courageous. Greater is He who is in us, than anything that might come against us. May we each rise up in strength and courage as we are commanded, and keep terror and dismay far from us. Take heart dear ones, for the Lord our God is with us!

 

For the Lord commands,Dispelling Discouragement

Take courage, be strong;

Because He’s with us,

All of our life long.

Let nothing find way,

To come and break down;

The courage God gives,

For in Him, strength’s found.

Do not be afraid,

For He’ll never leave;

All hope comes from Him,

By faith, we receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You command us to be strong and courageous. Thank You that You unpack it for us by explaining that we are not to allow anything to terrify us or break down our courage or take away our hope. Thank You that this is not something that we do on our own, but we can be strong and courageous because You are with us wherever we go, so there is no reason for fear. Forgive us for our fearfulness, as we forget how great You are and how small our obstacles are in comparison. Teach us to trust You more, as we struggle with discouragement when giants stand before us. Show us Your heart for those around us, so that we can love as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand in Your strength and courage, knowing that You are with us wherever we go. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Turn to Trust

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. – (Psalm 56:3, NLT)

When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone. – (Psalm 56:3, VOICE)

When I get really afraid I come to You in trust. – (Psalm 56:3, MSG)

 

I so appreciate that these were the honest words prayed by the heart of David, who was a mighty warrior. As one who had fought lions, giants, armies, elements, exhaustion and having to endure the anguish of alone, he identified and admitted his fear, and recognized and ran to the One in whom he knew he could trust. God was faithful to be present and protect David, despite the times of trial that he endured. The very same God who was worthy of such trust for David, remains present, approachable and available for each of us today. If fear attempts to find footing, we have One to whom we can run. May we depend securely upon the Lord alone, for He is the One in whom we can place all of our trust.

 

When fear tries creep in,Compassion in Confrontations

May we turn to trust;

For our God alone,

Is faithful and just.

As we choose let go,

Give God all our fear;

He makes His heart known,

Through His drawing near.

To come still closer,

The Lord welcomes us;

To release each fear,

And trust in Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we are afraid, we can come to You and trust You to be present and faithful to remain with us. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for choosing to remain frozen in our fears, rather than running to You and laying them at Your feet. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring You our every fear, and trust You to lead us and guide us through the spaces that seem far beyond what we are equipped to handle. Show us how to love well, every person that we encounter, so that they might gain glimpses of You through how we love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You when we are afraid, knowing that You are faithful; always. 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

Fear Not the Long Road

Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. – (Deuteronomy 7:21)

 

Though this verse was Moses’ exhortation to the Israelites as they were preparing to enter into the promised place where there were giant men before them that dwelled in the land, the promise of God’s presence is still true for us today. God is a great and awesome God, and He is among us. With Him, we need not be afraid of anything that stands before us.

 

The Lord our God, is Christ with us. When Jesus died, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, He sent His Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all who choose to trust in Him. God with us, is His Spirit among and in us, as we make our hearts His home. Great, means high rank; extraordinary powers – and the Lord is the greatest who ever was, is or is yet to come. Additionally, when we hear that He is an awesome God, it is recognizing that God is the One who inspires an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, and awe. He is good, and with Him, we need not be afraid of anything that lies ahead.

 

Fear not the long road,Fear Not the Long Road

that’s lying ahead;

for the Lord, our God,

will do what He said.

He’ll remain present,

when the road is rough;

He’ll give us the strength,

that’s more than enough.

For the Lord is great,

awesome in power;

present to lead us,

our safe, Strong Tower.

His promises shall,

forever hold true;

our hope for all time,

as He makes us new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though things before us at times seem terrifying or overwhelming, in You, we have nothing to fear. Thank You that You, our great and awesome God, are with us, always. Forgive us for allowing fear to deter us from the plans that You have for us, and help us to embrace the road You call us to travel, trusting You, each step of the way. Help us to hold fast to Your promises and Your presence, fixing our eyes and hearts securely on You. Lead us to love others well, as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we forge forward, without fear, in the fold of Your embrace. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Facing the Giants

God is good and loving, and He always has our very best in mind. When He calls us out of something, or leads us into something new, it is for our benefit, and at times, for our protection. When we fail to trust Him, we may miss out on all that He has for us. Even more than that, there are times when “failing to trust God brings even greater problems than those we originally faced. When we run from God, we inevitably run into problems.” – (NIV footnotes for Numbers 14:34)

 

The Israelites were a prime example of this. Because they failed to trust God, they did not enter into the promised land when it was right there, before them. Instead, they rebelled against God and those He had placed in leadership, and ended up wandering in the desert until they died.

 

From the Israelite perspective, following God into the promised land was a frightening prospect. There were men the size of giants, and their numbers seemed far greater than those of the Israelites. However, the Israelites had been miraculously brought out of captivity, provided for again and again by the mighty hand of God Himself, and yet, they failed to see God’s capacity to carry them over one more hurdle to receive the promise that God had made. Despite the numerous examples that we have throughout the Bible, history, and in our own lives, it is easy to fall prey to the same. If we allow our gaze to fix on that which we face before us, rather than Him who will carry us through, our desire to run begins to outweigh our passion to pursue God’s direction for our lives. May we fix our eyes on He who is more than able to carry us through every circumstance, and trust Him to provide what is needed to get where He calls us to go.

 

Our God is loving,Facing the Giants

and He always has;

the best intentions,

for our promised land.

Yet we have to trust,

and choose to obey;

listen and follow,

and walk in His way.

Even when walking,

seems horrid and hard;

He calls us to trust,

allow Him to guard.

He will not take us,

where He will not go;

His presence promised,

and peace we shall know.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

wherever You say;

and grant us the strength,

to rise and obey.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You will not lead us where You are not also willing to be present. Thank You that You go before us, behind us, and with us, so that we are never alone or unprotected. Thank You that though trusting You can be frightening at times, failing to do so can mean missing out on all that You have for us. Forgive us for the times that we have run from You, and teach us to trust You more so that we run to You, and embrace all that You call us to do. Lead us to move in rapid obedience, fixing our eyes on You. Help us to love others with You kindness and grace, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they learn to fix their eyes and hearts on You, the only One who can lead us into the places of promise. Be glorified O God, as we move in obedience, even in the scary spaces. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Taking Possession of Promises

Is the promise really the promise, when the glorious reality is in full view, yet there are giants between where we now stand and where we must go to enter into what God has spoken?  Ultimately, it becomes an issue of whether or not we trust that God is greater than the giants, and do we trust Him to be true to His word.

In the desert, as Moses and the masses were on the move, spies had been sent ahead into the land that God had promised them.  The men had seen that the land was indeed, flowing with milk and honey, and had even brought back evidence of its fruitfulness.  Despite the plentiful promise land before them, they allowed their fear of the powerful people living in the land to stand in their way.  One man spoke up in faith. “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’  But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people, they are stronger than us.” – (Numbers 13:30-31) 

Caleb chose trust over fear, and stood strong despite popular opinion.  He had seen the land for himself, and trusted that God was greater than anything that stood between the people and laying hold of the promise.  Sadly, the people chose not to listen to Caleb, and ended up wandering for forty years in the desert as a result.

What promises can we lay hold of through faith, if only we choose to trust Him, in spite of how things appear?  I don’t want to miss out on all that He has for me, only to be left wandering in the desert, aimless and longing for what could have been.

Promises made,Taking Possession of Promises

from the heart of God;

don’t ever change,

despite path to trod.

What the Lord says,

He will indeed, do;

God is faithful,

His word’s always true.

We must choose trust,

despite what’s seen;

God is greater,

on Him, we must lean.

God is with us,

the giants, fear not;

He’s far greater,

than the darkest plot.

Rise up in faith,

claim promise in Him;

dispel all fears,

our God always wins.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the promises You have spoken are “YES” and “AMEN”, and what You say is what shall be.  Thank You that neither giants, nor mountains, nor seas, nor anything else in all creation can stand in the way of the fulfillment of Your promises spoken.  Forgive us for allowing fear to deter us from moving forward in faith.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we might boldly take each next step that You are calling us to take, despite the appearance of giants or obstacles that seem to be standing in our way.  May we boldly move in obedience unto You, and may our faith be unwavering in Your truth.  Lead us by Your love, to love others well, and may many come to know You personally, as a result.  Be honored in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Wait for the Lord

David, the author of the 27th Psalm, encourages us to: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (verse 14)  He knew well, what it meant to wait for the Lord.  David had been anointed king as a teen while still tending his father’s flocks, yet did not don royal robes until he was much older.  As he waited, he faced giants, fled from a friend turned foe, overcame countless obstacles,  and all the while, trusted the Lord to be his strength and believed that what God had spoken, would come to pass.

When we hear a promise, it is never easy to wait.  At times, it can even seem as if God isn’t answering our prayers, because nothing seems to be happening toward the fulfillment.  However, we are not privileged to view things through God’s lens, so what He is doing, may easily escape us.  Often the series of seemingly unfortunate or unplanned events that are occurring, are a sort of preparation for our hearts and minds, to teach us to further trust, and strengthen our faith in the Father alone.  God’s promises are always worth the wait.  The time we have between the promise and the fulfillment, can be our time to hold hope, and allow the Lord to refresh us, renew us, and teach us.  Be strong and take heart, for He is always worth the wait.

Wait for the Lord,Wait for the Lord

be strong in the wait;

in Him, take heart,

do not hesitate.

Wait for the Lord,

He is always good;

trust in the Lord,

our pain’s understood.

Wait for the Lord,

no matter what’s seen;

call on His Name,

in the time between.

Wait for the Lord,

the day soon will come;

the fulfillment,

His promises done.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength in the waiting, and that we can always trust in You.  Thank You that You are faithful to fulfill what You say You will do, and that You have purpose when there is a time of waiting.  Forgive us for our impatience, and help us to learn how to be refreshed, renewed, and to grow in our understanding of You, as we wait.  May we grow in mercy and grace, as we have so lavishly been given these gifts by You.  Let us love others, as You love us, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be magnified through all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering

because he is conscious of God.   – 1 Peter 2:19

*(NIV footnotes for Psalm 27:13 utilized as a resource too.)