The Skies Don’t Lie

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. – (Psalm 19:1, NIV)

The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies announce what His hands have made. – (Psalm 19:1, ERV)

God’s splendor is a tale that is told; His testament is written in the stars. Space itself speaks His story every day through the marvels of the heavens. His truth is on tour in the starry vault of the sky, showing His skill in creation’s craftsmanship. – (Psalm 19:1, TPT)

 

Every morning, no matter the number of times I’ve been up in the night, nor the quality of sleep I’ve obtained, the handiwork of God is brilliantly displayed across the sky to remind me that He is present and that His truth remains. Whenever I am in a space of uncertainty, so often the words that bring comfort are from the Psalms. David was a man who endured trials and triumphs, and he recorded his heart after God with passion and honesty that is genuine and timeless throughout the ages. His recognition and awe at the handiwork of God captures my heart perfectly, as I watch the sunrise in wonder and amazement each morning.

Yesterday was another full day for mom. She had occupational therapy in the morning, lunch delivered and shared with two of her dearest friends midday, and then a late afternoon appointment with her primary care physician. The trip into town again went smoothly, and we are in awe of how God found the perfect PCP for mom. Her new doctor is a perfect fit, and sets our minds and hearts at ease, the moment she enters the room. All went smoothly, and we were on our way. After we had enjoyed dinner together back home and were ready to settle in to watch a movie, I checked mom’s phone for messages. There was a message from her doctor that must have come shortly after we left her office, and it left us both a bit unsettled. Mom just finished a 30-day heart-monitor study on June 10, and to our knowledge, it had been uneventful. The message implied that perhaps there was something to discuss, so we will be in contact with the doctor today to discover what exactly was found throughout the study. This is certainly a prayer point, as there are pros and cons to there being “something” there. A pro is that it could be the “why” as to what actually caused mom’s stroke. Additionally, if we know the what, it can be treated and prevented. However, an obvious con is that we do not want mom to have issues with her heart. God is greater. He knit her together in her mother’s womb and knows the number of hairs on her head. May we ever trust in He who hung the stars in the sky and causes the sun each day to rise.

 

God’s great glory shines,0612190457254276551488597199.jpg

Each morn as I rise;

His work is displayed,

Across painted skies.

Brilliant the colors,

Show His handiwork;

Dark becomes daybreak,

World’s finest artwork.

All of creation,

Makes God’s glory clear;

Present Creator,

Who chooses be near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the heavens declare Your glory and that Your handiwork is evident as we gaze across the sky. Thank You for the daily reminders of Your presence. Forgive us for our uncertainty, fearfulness and doubts as we continue to walk along a road where we cannot see past the step we are taking right now. Keep holding us close, reminding us that we are in Your hands and that You have a plan that is already well prepared. Show us how to love those around us as they seek to navigate their own road. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continue to seek and trust, appreciate and stand in awe of all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do. Amen.

 

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

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Ongoing Grace

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – (Hebrews 1:3, NIV)

The Son shows the glory of God. He is a perfect copy of God’s nature, and He holds everything together by His powerful command. The Son made people clean from their sins. Then He sat down at the right side of God, the Great One in heaven. – (Hebrews 1:3, ERV)

This is the One who – imprinted with God’s image, shimmering with His glory – sustains all that exists through the power of His word. He was seated at the right hand of God once He Himself had made the offering that purified us from all our sins. – (Hebrews 1:3, VOICE)

 

As we approach Easter, it is important to remember who Jesus is and all that He does for us. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory, the only one who has ever been a perfect copy of God’s nature. Though we all have been created in God’s image, Jesus is the only one to have ever been without sin. Because He was without sin, He made Himself the perfect offering that purified us from all of our sin. After Jesus had come to do all that He was called to do, He returned to His rightful throne in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. The Holy One, seated beside the Majesty of heaven, is not just sitting there to reign, as He continually moves on our behalf, so that we may be seen as righteous before God. It is not by anything that we do, but rather by what Jesus did for all. Our portion is to believe and receive, so that we may walk in His way and do His will. May we ever remember the weight of the sacrifice and the depth of His love, that led our Lord to bear our every burden of sin, that provides the path for us to join Him for all of eternity in heaven.

 

The true radiance, Ongoing Grace

Of the Lord on high;

Rested on Jesus,

As He chose to die.

Death for all our sin,

So we’d be made clean;

Cleansed and forgiven,

Showing what grace means.

The love didn’t stop there,

As ongoing grace;

Is granted by Him,

Seated in His place.

At Lord God’s right hand,

Love is ever shown;

He covers our sin,

And makes mercy known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to be in relationship with You – cleansed and set free from sin, so that we are seen as worthy. Jesus, thank You for Your eternal sacrifice that bore the weight of all of the world’s sin for all time, and returning to Your rightful throne to continually demonstrate Your mercy and grace and love to us all. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your sacrifice. Teach us to stand in awe of the incredible way that You loved all of us so much, that You bore the brunt of all our sin to provide forgiveness for each of us. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your goodness, mercy and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember in awe, the incredible gift given through the sacrifice of Jesus. Amen.

 

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

 

Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. – John 1:16

The Radiance of God’s Glory

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – (Hebrews 1:3)

 

On this day as we celebrate the glory of our nation’s independence, let us not forget the greatest glory of all. For Jesus came to us to show us God’s glory, as the exact representation of God; His one and only Son. We are sustained by His word and purified by His sacrifice made on the cross for our sins. When He sat down at the right hand of the Father, it indicated that the work was complete – all provision for purification had been provided; we need only receive what is offered, and we too, may lay hold of His radiance for ourselves. Let us remember the sacrifices that brought and continue to bring our nation independence, but more importantly, let us never forget the greatest sacrifice that ever was, when our Savior willingly laid down His very life so that we might have life eternal with Him.

 

Holy radiance,The Reason for Reverence

the glory of God;

shown us through His Son,

let the earth applaud.

For by His great word,

the Lord made the way;

for our righteousness,

our sin washed away.

When it was finished,

Christ rose and sat down;

the work was complete,

our hearts could be found.

May we go in grace,

with much thanksgiving;

for the hope we hold,

eternal living.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, who was the exact representation of You in human form, so that we might come to know and understand more clearly, who You are, and what You have done for us. Thank You for the power of Your word, and for the purification from our sin. Thank You that when Christ sat down at Your right hand, it was finished. Forgive us for thinking that what we have done is beyond the reach of Your grace, or for neglecting to give You gratitude for the magnitude of Your glory. Teach us to trust You more, so that we have a proper perspective as to who You are and all that You have done. Lead us to love others with Your amazing grace, so that they too, may come to know the hope that is found in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the radiance of Your great glory. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

To Take Courage

When Jesus walked on water, the disciples were in the midst of some really rough seas. For experienced fishermen to be straining at the oar, indicated that it was quite a rough row as they were attempting make their way across the lake and the wind had risen up against them. Likely struggling and straining to keep the boat afloat, they then caught a glimpse of God’s glory as Jesus appeared beside them, walking on the water. The men were terrified.

 

Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” – (Mark 6:50b)

 

When things are uncertain and fear rises up, it is easy to get stuck in the straining as we struggle to stay afloat. The very same Jesus who walked on the water out to the place where the disciples were straining in the stormy seas, is seated beside us in scary spaces and whispers to our hearts, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Christ knows our struggles and stays beside us, and in the midst of our storms, we need only look up to recognize His presence; for Christ’s nearness is the antidote for fear. May we keep our eyes securely fixed on Jesus, who is our safety and strength, and in whom we have nothing to fear.

 

When the waters rise,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the storms surround;

let’s look to the One,

in Whom hope is found.

For we need not fear,

with Christ by our side;

all courage and strength,

from Him, are supplied.

Christ knows all our needs,

and cares for each one;

receive all He grants,

the battle’s been won.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not leave us alone in fearful or tumultuous spaces, but You are present and ever reminding us to take courage in You. Thank You that we need not be afraid, for You are with us, and You are far greater than anything that would come against us. Forgive us for allowing our gaze to stay glued to our struggles, rather that seeing You, our solution. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would fix our eyes on You, the Author and Perfector of our faith. Lead us to love others with an unrelenting kindness and grace, just as You love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we take courage in You, allowing You to strengthen and equip us to face the fearful things that stand before us. 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

Reflect His Radiance

After spending time in the presence of God, there was external evidence of the internal exchange that had occurred in the heart of Moses.  “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  When Aaron and the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.  But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them.” – (Exodus 34:29-31)  The time Moses had spent in the Lord’s presence had been so powerful, that his very countenance reflected the radiance of God!

How are we changed after spending time in His presence?  Can people see an outward expression of an inward change?  Our faces do not have to glow with God’s glory, to demonstrate an internal difference that people can see.  The kindness we extend to others, our ability to offer mercy and grace, even when none is deserved – these are opportunities to reflect His radiance, and draw others into the light of His love.  Often, it is without ever saying a word, but rather with how we act or react, that we most clearly demonstrate an internal difference.  Ultimately, the difference displayed in our behavior, opens opportunities for discussion.  God creates the openings, we just have to be willing and available to move as He asks.

Time with the Lord,Reflect His Radiance

leads to a vast change;

inside to out,

great holy exchange.

Intentional,

to listen and pray;

worship and read,

give honor each day.

As we choose Him,

our hearts will be changed;

difference seen,

a life rearranged.

Glory given,

to Him, who it’s due;

as His light shines,

and we are made new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we spend time in Your presence, we cannot help but be changed from the inside out.  May we embrace Your grace and allow You access to all, so that Your radiance may be seen in us.  Forgive us for neglecting to make You our priority, or for not slowing down to listen as life becomes chaotic.  Help us to turn to You in all things and at all times, trusting and relying completely on You.  Thank You that You are worthy of all of our trust, and that in You, the impossible is made possible.  May we go forth in Your love, allowing Your light to be seen through us.  May many come to know You as Lord and King, and may they embrace the peace that Your grace brings.  Be glorified, Lord God.  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 Tell Our Tale

image by Leslie Green

image by Leslie Green

We all have a story,

that we know very well;

our personal glory,

as He saved us from hell.

Do not fear the unknown,

for we are free to say,

I don’t know that, but this –

let me tell you today.

For that which God has done,

to set us free from sin,

is worth our repeating;

to bear witness again.

Think of the blind beggar,

with smeared mud on his eyes;

to whom Jesus came near,

brand new hope realized.

Though each story varies,

three truths remain the same:

messy life; God came near;

then forever life changed.

May the God of all strength,

always receive glory,

as we point hearts to Him,

in faith, share our story.

(Responding to Sunday’s message at www.gcfw.org and Romans 15:5-6)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we all have our own story to tell of how “our life was a mess; You came near; and now we are different.”  Forgive us for thinking our story is insignificant, or for being afraid to share.  Grant us courage and clarity, so that we will follow Your leading as to what and when to share with whom.  May our hearts be open and willing at all times, and may our story be told to bring lives unto You, for Your ultimate glory.  Help us to love like You, so that people see You in us.  May our lives speak of Your goodness and grace as we choose to walk forward in faith.  Amen.

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