Sing of His Strength

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. – (Psalm 59:16, NIV)

But I will sing about Your strength. I will rejoice in Your love every morning. You have been my place of safety, the place I can run when troubles come. – (Psalm 59:16, ERV)

But me? I will sing of Your strength. I will awake with the sun to sing of Your loving mercy because in my most troubled hour, You defended me. You were my shelter. – (Psalm 59:16, VOICE)

 

This needs to be my focus this morning, as I am still weighted down by this bug. He is my strength, and His love is overwhelming. The Lord is my help, and I have to trust His timing. Though visiting a Redi-Clinic or Check Medical is not high up on my list of favorite ways to spend a Sunday, I am grateful that they exist and I can go and be seen. God is good, He knows what I need, and I trust Him to provide. Tomorrow is the first day of second semester and the first day of turnouts for gymnastics. As a teacher who will be receiving three new art classes, and the head coach of gymnastics, I cannot be absent. It seems a bit overwhelming to think about remaining upright for an entire day, but that is still more than twenty-four hours away. He is good, and make way where there seems to be no way. May we ever sing of the Lords strength, love, and help, as He is faithful, always.

 

The Lord is for us, Strong Heart

Our strength, full of love;

Help in times of need,

Most gracious above.

May we ever sing,

Of all that He does;

Provider of all,

Our Giver of love.

All glory to God,

Full of love and grace;

Ever beside us,

For all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and that You pour Your love upon us. Thank You that You are our help in times of struggle. Forgive us for not seeking You for all that we need, or questioning Your capacity to be our help. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers strength, help and hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we sing of Your strength and love, and give You praise for Your ever-present help. Amen.

 

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

 

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. – 2 Samuel 22:33

Announced Arrival

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – (Luke 2:13-14, NLT) 

Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing: “Glory to God in the highest realm of heaven! For there is peace and good hope given to the sons of men.” – (Luke 2:13-14, TPT) 

 

One of my favorite moments to anticipate each year, is candlelight service on Christmas Eve. There is a moment in the evening when a single flame is lit, the lights are extinguished, and people then begin to pass the flame, candle to candle, as songs of praise in remembrance of that most holy night, are sung by all. Soon, the entire sanctuary is full of the glorious glowing light, and an army of angelic voices floods the room. Though but a glimpse, it is such a sweet reminder of that most holy night when heaven came to earth and the armies of heaven announced the arrival of Christ, as they sang in celebration of what God had done. May we each find a moment in the so often hectic season of preparation, to take in the tangible reminders of that most holy night. Let the glory of all that God has done flood our hearts and minds as we give our praise to the Ancient of Days. 

 

Darkness was flooded, Glory to God in the highest_sermon

With heavenly hosts; 

Singing out praises, 

To men at their posts. 

In awe, they watched them, 

In wonder and fright; 

As heaven drew near, 

On that holy night. 

This declaration, 

Such wondrous good news; 

Savior’s arrival, 

What would shepherds choose? 

The men in wonder, 

Left their fields that night; 

To see for themselves, 

The glorious sight. 

A glimpse of Jesus, 

In the stable lay; 

Their lives ever changed, 

That sacred birthday. 

May we find moments, 

Where we’re caught in awe; 

Of all that God did, 

Through the babe they saw. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the glorious gift of Your Son. Thank You for the heavenly hosts who announced His arrival to shepherds in their fields that night. Thank You for the moments in this sacred season that grant us glimpses of Your glory. Forgive us for not slowing down in awe and wonder at the marvelous miracle of Jesus and all that surrounded His arrival. Teach us to recognize the remarkable reminders of all that You have done to bring heaven to earth and make way for us to know You. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they make recognize the radiance of Your glory through the good that You send us in this sacred season. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the most holy arrival of Your Son, and give all glory to You. Amen.

 

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

 

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. – Acts 10:36

Blanketed in Peace

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – (Luke 2:14, NLT)

“Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors.” – (Luke 2:14, CEB)

“Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” – (Luke 2:14, TPT)

 

Just as the host of angels sang these words after the one had brought the glorious announcement to the shepherds in their fields at night so many years ago, we are reminded of the very same peace and glory today. Last evening as our candlelight service ended, snow began falling and blanketing the earth around us. To me, there is nothing quite so serene, peaceful and beautiful as a scene freshly blanketed in snow. It reminds me that we are made new, and restores hope that the things that seem chaotic will become calm, and that which is broken or fractured can be made new. Peace on earth, goodwill to all, for the Light of the world has come to bring hope to us through the baby born in a stable so long ago. That baby grew and lived and loved with His very life, so that we could know life everlasting. May we take pause in awe and wonder, and marvel at the peace and good hope that has come to us, as gently as freshly fallen snow.

 

Just as fresh snow falls,

Blanketed in Peace

photo credit: Flickr by pixelmama

And blankets the earth;

We’re reminded of,

Our dear Savior’s birth.

For on that dark night,

A long time ago;

The angels appeared,

To shepherds below.

With heavenly voice,

They lifted a song;

All glory to God,

May peace carry on.

Great hope is granted,

To those who believe;

Who trust in the Lord,

With this He is pleased.

So, gaze and the snow,

Take in its pure light;

Remember the peace,

That came on that night.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son and the hope and peace that is found in Him. Thank You for the beauty of Your creation, and the tangible reminder of how we are made clean and new in You, just as the earth appears in a blanket of freshly fallen snow. Forgive us for not recognizing the reminders of Your peace and hope that You present all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are acutely aware of Your presence and Your peace, even in the places where it does not make sense. Show us how to be ambassadors of peace and hope to a world in need, as we love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the peace that came to us through the precious gift of Your Son. Amen.

 

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

 

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Where Freedom is Found

image by Soda Head

image by Soda Head

Our nation was formed,
by men of great faith;
longing for freedom,
from king’s former wraith.
Escape from bondage,
evil tyranny;
the fight to part ties,
at last to be free.
The brave and the bold,
fought so valiantly;
the benefit known,
as we are now free.
Ultimate freedom,
does come at great price;
for us to be found,
took Christ’s sacrifice.
Jesus, God’s glory,
stepped down from His throne;
made way for our God,
to truly be known.
As rockets red light,
and bombs burst in air;
give glory to God,
for our freedom share.

(Responding to Hebrews 1:3-4)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true freedom is found in You alone. Thank You for the privilege I’ve had to grow up in a nation where I am free to worship You corporately, without fear of persecution. Please provide places for people in nations that do not know this freedom, to gather and encourage one another, knowing that our ultimate freedom is found only in You. Forgive us for taking our freedom for granted, and help us to walk boldly in the freedom found in You, so that many may be set free from all that is binding. May they find true freedom that is found in You alone. All glory and honor to You, Who has made our hearts truly free in Thee. Amen.

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

Ask

Ask.  Ask big.  Ask bold.

Ask, and you will receive whatever you ask in prayer. (Mt 7:7) 

He is able to do immeasurably more than you are able to imagine.(Eph 3:20)

Ask Him.

These are the words ushering in my new year.  There are some things, obvious things, that I began asking, praying out loud with a renewed

image by Anne's Vintage Elegance

image by Anne’s Vintage Elegance

fervor and faith, as I drove home from our New Year’s Eve service where I was given this word, individually.  However, I find that there are hollows in my heart that hold dreams that I don’t know if I am to dare divulge aloud, and actually ask for them to come to pass.  Are they my dreams, or His?  Will they bring glory to God, or to Shannon?  Despite the natural desire to love and be loved, to know and be known, I don’t want what is not mine.  Everything I am or ever will be, is because of how I was intentionally designed by our great God; so whatever I do, is actually a reflection of Him.  That being said, whatever I do, I desperately want to bring Him glory, not glory to self.

He is, I am not.  I live in this shell and am fully aware of my shortcomings.  For Super Spouse, Adventurous and Cautious, they likely could share some as well.  That being said, I also know that He has given me good gifts to use for His glory, and it is my calling to do just that.  Am I honoring Him with what He has given me?  Do I daily honor Him with the woman He has made me to be?  Some days, I feel like perhaps I am approaching a yes, then others, maybe not quite.  Fortunately, each day we begin again, and have a fresh start to allow Him to work in and through us, as we seek to honor Him in all that we say and do.  He loves us the same, whether we get it “right” or not.  He loves us so much that He died in our place, overcame the grave, ascended into heaven, and is in a constant place of petition before the Father, on our behalf.  He is asking, so must we.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You delight in us, and You give us good gifts.  Thank You that You speak truth in our lives through Your Holy Spirit as He whispers to our hearts, through Your word, and often through words given to us by trusted, solid believers on Your behalf.  Thank You that when the words given are biblically based and resonate true in our spirit, we can trust that You are conveying Your heart to ours, in love.  Forgive me for fearing to ask, as if it would be a bother to You.  Grant me a new boldness in the asking, and wisdom to know what to ask and when.  Thank You that You, the Creator of the entire Universe, are more than capable of answering what we ask, when we ask with an upright heart, for that which is good in Your eyes.  Lead us Lord, to ask, and trust, and believe, so that we may ever praise You in the wait, and as we receive.  May many come to call You Christ and King in the coming year.  Amen.

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

Glory to the Giver, Not the Gift

“Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” – Galatians 6:4-5

artwork by Miriam Sarzotti

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” – (The Message)

What are we doing and why are we doing it?  Has God called us to it, or are we trying to keep up with so-and-so?  God places in each of us, gifts and talents to be used for His glory.  No two gifts and talents are exactly the same, nor two people meant to serve God in the exact same way.  His call on each of our lives is unique to how He has made us.  What we do in Him, is only because that is who and how He designed us to be.  We are not meant to compare ourselves with one another, but rather to recognize and celebrate the remarkable that our Redeemer does in us and through us.  All glory is His alone.  Each of us need to be responsible for doing our best to use the gifts that He has given, in the way He wants it to be utilized.  If it is to serve, then we must serve with our whole life.  If it is to teach, then we must teach what He has taught us.  If it is to plant, we must faithfully plant where we are placed.  If to harvest, then we only be present and obedient to supply what we are meant to share, as people have been previously prepared for a time such as this, to enter into relationship with Him.  The list goes on, as there are far too numerous the gifting that He gives by His grace, to be used for good.  May we honor Him with our very lives, as He calls us to do.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each of us are uniquely and wonderfully made.  Each of us, designed with a purpose and a plan to display Your deity to the downcast and dying, so that they too might come to know Your goodness and grace.  Forgive us Father, for comparing ourselves to one another, and for becoming impressed with ourselves for things that are ordained and ordered by You in us, and for not giving all glory to You.  Teach us to take responsibility for what You are asking each of us, so that we may honor You and give proper glory to You, who grants us the grace to do anything that might be considered good.  Lead us Lord, to love You and love others, so that many may come to hear Your call.  All glory and honor to You, Father.  Amen.

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

Healing Happens as Fear Flees

“Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe and she will be healed.” – Luke 8:50

These words were spoken to Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue who had asked Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter.  In the chaos of the crowd, he received word that she had died.  Jesus, despite the seeming impossibility, instructed Jairus to not be afraid and to believe that she would indeed be healed.  Though he was likely swimming in a sea of emotions, Jairus turned to trust and believed that Jesus would do what He had said He would do.

God is a God of making what is seemingly impossible in the natural, entirely possible in His supernatural strength and grace.  He is willing to take our tiny traces of faith and hope, and turn them into something miraculous.  Not by anything that we do or don’t do, rather when we seek Him instead of self, we provide a place for our Heavenly Father to move in His might.

This whole faith and healing pairing can easily become muddied when He does not do what we want Him to do.  It can be difficult to see the miraculous, when we feel that it all has missed the mark.  Sometimes, the healing does not happen until the afflicted are held in His loving arms in Heaven.  It is challenging to understand the “why” when we do not witness His wonder in the natural.  This is where hope and faith and trust in He alone who is trustworthy, must become our lifeline.  Our prayers never go unnoticed.  However, we see but a glimpse of His grand plan for people and how He can best use lives (and sometimes deaths) of His beloved, to bless and lead others unto Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help our hearts to hold all hope in You, and keep fear far from us.  Help us to believe for the unbelievable, and give glory to You through our every circumstance.  Teach us to trust You at all times, that Your good and perfect plan is present, despite what we may see.  Grow our faith God, so that we may be prayerful people who present Your perfect peace to all who need to know that You are near.  Amen.

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

Remaining Reverent

“He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” – Jeremiah 51:15

“By His power He made the earth.  His wisdom gave shape to the world.  He crafted the cosmos.” – (The Message)

How can we even question the existence of God, when all of creation clearly confesses the craftsmanship of our Creator?

To sit so small

in the hollow of a huge canyon,

to gaze heavenward

beneath the countless stars hung in the sky –

I need only to inhale

to be reminded of the Source of my every breath.

All of creation testifies

to the Truth that turns trouble into trust.

With His power, wisdom and understanding, there is nothing our God cannot do!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the evidence of Your existence and the passion for Your people is everywhere.  Forgive us for not slowing down enough to truly take in the magnificence of all that You have made.  Teach us to treasure all that is around us, and to give all glory to You, God, for all that You have created in and for Your kids.  May we ever delight as Your sons and daughters, in the glorious display of Your deity all around us.  Glory to You, God, for Your goodness is a gift we have been given.  Amen.

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