Tag Archive: grace


This morning, I am thankful for the freedom to utilize my voice and the act of wise choice.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. – (Proverbs 25:28, NLT)

Yesterday, this was a guiding principle throughout my day. Due to a serious lack of sleep from the night prior, I knew that I would have to choose my words and conversations carefully, as I was too tired to maintain my typical filter that upholds the self-control afforded to me by Christ. When words escape without warning and no control is exercised, boundaries that are built for good, can be broken, and irreparable harm can happen. Most whom I encountered throughout my day, were gracious and kind, and I managed to navigate the school day unscathed. Unfortunately, later in the afternoon, assumptions expressed through electronic communication toward me, made my temper flare. I knew that to engage in such banter would only lead to harm. Rather than opting to engage, I went to my kettlebell class and worked out my rage. By the time I arrived back home, I only had the energy to love and check in with my cherubs about their homework, and then call it a day. We have the choice to exercise self-control and uphold the safety and security within ourselves, or we can give our power away, by losing control and allowing another’s words or actions to have influence over us. May we choose to submit to Christ alone, who grants us self-control, and is our fortress and strong tower at all times.

God grants self-control,kettlebells

to walk in His grace;

to shore up safe walls,

keep us in right space.

He gives us wisdom,

so we are aware;

of when to engage,

or get out of there.

He provides escape,

outlets for our fear;

strength where we are weak,

He always is near.

We thank You, O God,

for wisdom and choice;

self-control granted,

as we use our voice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the strength and wisdom to know when to speak and when to stay silent; when to engage, and when to walk away. Thank You that You provide the self-control that we need to keep from destroying the boundaries and barriers that are necessary to keep us safe. Forgive us for not depending on You for strength and for not exercising self-control. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be wise and people that show self-control through Your strength, not our own. Lead us to love others in a way that helps them to see Your kindness and grace. May many choose to enter into a relationship as they seek Your face. Be glorified O God, as we seek to operate in the self-control that You grant us, and give You thanks for the freedom to do so. Amen.

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

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

 

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Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him. – (Psalm 95:2, NLT)

May we come before the Lord and give Him thanks. Let us sing and praise Him with the gratitude that rises in our hearts when we consider who He is, and all that He has done. Even when our present day is not our banner day, there is always reason to praise.

Yesterday did not end up as I would have hoped nor imagined. I spent much of the day and night seeking medical attention for one of my tender-hearted teens. They had been away on retreat with their youth group for the weekend, and upon returning, Adventurous was struggling with his asthma. Knowing the previous patterns that this sort of incident had taken in the past, a trip to Urgent Care up front, would likely prevent a trip to the ER later. We went to an Urgent Care that was new to us, and were seen right away. The entire staff was helpful and kind, and we were in and out in a bit over an hour. There was reason for our hearts to give praise as we parted, for the x-rays showed that his lungs were clear, indicating no sign of pneumonia or the like. He did, however, have an ear infection. Upon returning home, Adventurous laid down and took a nap for several hours. As he slept, I would do periodic check-ins to listen to his breathing. Unfortunately, that was growing steadily worse. After having prepared dinner for he and his brother, and having no success in waking him to come and eat, I realized that what I had hoped to avoid was going to need to happen.

I roused the sleeping cherub, and we were off for the ER. Due to the nature of our visit, we were taken back fairly quickly, as breathing is rather important. On our way back to a room, all I could do is give God thanks, as we passed by several very sick kiddos. Though Adventurous was struggling, the process of restoration was fairly routine. There was some waiting, and my sweet boy did not respond to the medication as quickly as he usually does, but he did respond, and we avoided being admitted. Three and a half hours after arrival, we were on our way home.

Let our hearts sing psalms,Let Our Hearts Sing Thanks

with all thanks and praise;

to our mighty God,

may our voices raise.

Despite our trials,

there’s reason to give;

thanks to the Father,

who loves and lets live.

We thank You, Lord God,

for love, life and breath;

for grace, forgiveness,

Your conquering death.

Let us not forget,

the wonder of You;

as we sing all praise,

and speak of Your truth.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You with thanksgiving and sing psalms of praise to You. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise. Forgive us for not recognizing our reason to give thanks in all things is You, regardless of what goes on around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can see clearly with our heart, what our eyes cannot perceive. Lead us to love others with Your love and grace, so that they too may long to seek Your face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You with thanksgiving, and sing psalms of praise unto You. 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

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; His love to Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. – (Ezra 3:11)

The people during David’s time, had seen the destruction of the former glory of the temple that Solomon had built. Some, had never even known anything except the rubble of the ruins that remained. Finally, fifty years after the destruction, the foundation of a new temple of the Lord had been laid. I imagine there was such power in the recognition of the reality of the promise to rebuild, coming to pass before their very eyes. The people responded with praise and thanksgiving, as they identified His goodness and faithfulness for all time. God had been faithful in the destruction, and continued to remain faithful as they were in the space of rebuilding.

God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Lord is present with people in the midst of destruction, and remains present throughout the healing and rebuilding process. May our hearts, though at times are heavy from all of the destruction that we see, be encouraged to sing praise and thanks to God because He is good and His love and faithfulness to people remains for all time. Be our foundation, O God, no matter what we see.

Praise and thanksgiving,

Vandy Massey Watercolor

Vandy Massey Watercolor

sing unto the Lord;

for He is so good,

all grace He affords.

When all seems but lost,

in Him we are found;

the Lord shall restore,

what was shaking ground.

With great shouts of praise,

give God the glory;

for He holds the pen,

to write our story.

Though storms enter in,

our course is assured;

when we trust in Christ,

we’ve strength to endure.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and Your love endures forever. Thank You for the foundation that You lay in the hearts of all who choose to trust in You. Forgive us for not giving proper praise and thanksgiving for who You are, despite what we witness around us. Father, we lift up all of those impacted by the tragedy in France, and ask that You would be their Comfort and their Healer, as they find themselves in a place of ruin, needing You to rebuild. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might extend thanks and praise unto You through all that we say and do. Lead us to love others so that they may come to know Your goodness and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we sing of Your goodness and enduring love with praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, NLT)

Set out a sacrifice I can accept; your thankfulness. Be true to your word to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, Voice)

At first glance, I wondered how thankfulness would be considered a sacrifice before God, however, when I pondered the passage for a moment, I recognized that the reality in the midst of struggles and suffering is that we must sacrifice some of ourselves (our desire to complain, whine, or wallow) in order to have a thankful heart before the Lord. Additionally, when we present promises to God, He expects us to keep them. None of this is possible in our own strength, yet with Christ in us, we can make thankfulness our sacrifice to God, and be true to the words we commit unto the Lord. May we give up our desire to identify the things that go wrong, and instead sacrifice our self-focus for a God-focus, giving Him all of our thanks and praise. Let us be true to our word to the Lord Most High, as it is by Him and through Him that all moments are measured.

Let a thankful heart,Tether Our Hearts

be our sacrifice;

before the Lord God,

as He paid the price.

For every sin,

has been washed away;

so that we can stand,

and walk in His way.

May we keep the vows,

promises to God;

let’s give our whole heart,

not just a facade.

No matter what comes,

be trial or grace;

may thanks fill our hearts,

and from our lips, praise.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You receive our thankfulness as a sacrifice before You, and that You are pleased when we are true to our word unto You. Forgive us for not making thankfulness our sacrifice before You, or for not keeping the promises that we have made to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have hearts that are filled to overflowing with gratitude for who You are and all that You have done, as well as an unwillingness to waiver from our word unto You. Show us how to love others from a position of thankfulness, so that they too may see Your goodness through our gratitude. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make thankfulness our sacrifice before You, and keep our promises that we make to You. 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

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. – (1 Chronicles 16:8, NLT)

In my early twenties, I had the rare opportunity to be a part of Youth With A Mission, and saw firsthand, the carrying out of the great commission in action. We were able to go out to the ends of the earth and tell the world of what He has done. The teams that I was a part of traveled to Thailand, India, China, Bangladesh, Macau and Hong Kong (before it was turned back over to China). Trains, planes, boats, rickshaws, backpacks up mountains, and living among some of the world’s poorest, were part of our daily adventures. It was an exciting time, and as we gave thanks to the Lord and proclaimed His greatness, we could see, firsthand, how we were letting the world know what He had done.

After returning from such an adventurous lifestyle, it took quite a mind shift to recognize that I could still impact the world through giving thanks and proclaiming who God is. What I discovered as I began teaching in the city in which I was raised, is that the population had become very global. Though I was not going out into all of the world, all of the world was coming into my classroom on a daily basis. Seeds of kindness that I began to plant, were God’s to water and grow.

For years I have utilized writing as a personal outlet, rarely allowing anyone else to read what God had written on my heart. A few years ago, a dear friend who I did allow to read my writing from time to time, began to encourage me to consider sharing my writing with a larger circle. Though terrified, I ventured to spread the circle a bit wider. The few became a few more, and blogging was birthed in me. Today, the thrill of seeing the flag of another nation representing a person who has viewed what God is showing me, is overwhelming. God alone is worthy of all of our thanks and praise, for He is great and has done remarkable things! May we go forth this day and let the world know what He has done, as we live a life full of thanks.

All thanks be to God,Give Thanks As We Proclaim

and let us proclaim;

of the Lord’s greatness,

oh most Holy Name.

May all of the earth,

come know what He’s done;

through His love and grace,

He gave us His Son.

Merciful Father,

makes the way for us;

embrace eternal,

through the Lord Jesus.

Lord, You are so good,

You take what we bring;

and accept us each,

as pure offerings.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so great and mighty. Thank You that You allow us to be a part of the great commission, wherever we are. Thank You that we can share Your love with the ends of the earth, whether we travel or stay at home. Forgive us for thinking that we cannot make a difference, or for staying silent when we ought to be proclaiming the greatness of who You are. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would use our words and deeds to appropriately express our gratitude unto You in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others in a way that sows seeds of Your goodness and grace deep into their hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and proclaim Your greatness wherever we may be. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. – (Colossians 3:17, NLT)

When we belong to Christ, our every word and deed are representing who we are in Him. If we present ourselves from a position of thanks and praise to Him who gives us life and breath and our very being, God is glorified as He ought to be. However, if our natural state is one that withholds gratitude and fails to give glory where glory is due, we are missing opportunities to show His goodness to those around us. Yes, we all struggle and fall short, and it is good for us to also be genuine with people, but we cannot stay stuck in our sorrows or struggles. As those around us see us rise and fight the good fight with a heart full of thanks for Him who gives us strength, they too may be moved to earnestly seek Him. May we choose to give thanks to God in all that we do and say, for He alone is worthy, and we are His representatives.

Let each word and deed,Acceptance As We Acknowledge

be flavored with praise;

giving thanks to God,

for all of our days.

No matter what comes,

the Lord is still good;

faithful and present,

makes grace understood.

May we represent,

our Lord Jesus well;

through word and action,

let our choices tell.

Tell of His glory,

speak of the Lord’s grace;

share of His goodness,

’til all seek His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and faithful and kind. Thank You that all thanks and praise belong to You. Thank You that You allow us to be Your representatives to those around us, through our words and deeds, as we choose to give You thanks. Forgive us for not representing You well with our words or deeds, and help us to do and say the things that You would choose. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your leading in every situation and circumstance, giving You thanks all the while. Lead us to love others well, so that they may see You through that which we do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to represent You well with thankful hearts, in all that we say and do. 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

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:7, NLT)

(Be) rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:7, NIV)

Where we choose to be planted, roots will grow. When we invest our hearts and lives in Christ, He grows His truth deep within us, and we become firmly established. With each new bud of strength that grows, so too, does our gratitude. As we allow Christ to strengthen us further in our faith in Him, thankfulness begins to overflow from our whole being. We cannot help but burst forth blooms of thanks, when our roots run deep in His love. May we allow our hearts and minds to be rooted and built up in Christ, as He strengthens us in the truth; and may we allow thankfulness to freely flow from our hearts as we notice the grace that God continually gives.

Deep rooted in Christ,Bloom Where We're Planted

is the place to grow;

firmly established,

where His truth we know.

Here we are strengthened,

by His love and grace;

may thanks overflow,

as we give God praise.

Let both heart and mind,

hold fast to the truth;

all thanks be to Him,

Who builds up, makes new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we invest our hearts and minds in You and Your word, we are rooted and built up in You. Thank You that You strength us in faith and fill our hearts to overflowing with thankfulness. Forgive us for not investing all that we are into who You are calling us to become, or for not giving proper thanks where it is due. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will surrender all that we are unto You. Make us more of who You created us to become, and help our hearts to overflow with gratitude for who You are and all that You have done and continue to do. Lead us to love others so that they may see Your heart for them through how they are cared for through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are rooted and built up in You, strengthened in the faith as You have taught us, and allow our hearts to overflow with thankfulness. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. – (Philippians 4:6, NLT)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. – (Philippians 4:6, ERV)

When worry or anxiety come our way, we are given specific instruction in scripture as to how we are meant to overcome that which has come against us. Rather than fret about our concerns, we are meant to come before Christ, thanking Him for all that He has done, and then asking Him for what we need. We serve a big God, who is far greater than our struggles or shortcomings. He knows our needs and has more than enough to provide for us, personally, when we choose to present our requests before Him. Often our answers do not look the way that we might imagine, but He is always faithful to answer and be present with us. May we choose to set aside worry and anxiety, and prayerfully present our petitions before the Lord with hearts full of thanks and praise. He is good, and His love endures for all time.

Let us worry not,Refreshment Through Repentance

about that which comes;

for God is greater,

Overcoming One.

For we are each called,

to come before Him;

present our requests,

with thanks, enter in.

For His faithfulness,

won’t come to an end;

we need not worry,

but rather, depend.

Trust in our Father,

who’s faithful and true;

give thanks for His grace,

that makes our hearts new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not worry nor be anxious about anything, but rather in every situation we can come to You and pray to You with hearts full of thanks, and ask You for all that we need. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and that You are faithful to meet us each time we come before You. Forgive us for allowing worry and anxiety to overwhelm us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in the midst of our moments, and give You thanks and praise, presenting our petitions unto You, because You are faithful to hear our every heart cry. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may find reason to give thanks, even in the midst of struggles and storms, because You are always good. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give You thanks and present our requests before You, rather than worry over what we cannot control. Amen.

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

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7, NLT

Do you know why the mighty God of the universe chooses to answer prayer?  It is because His children ask.  God delights in our asking.  He is pleased at our asking.  His heart is warmed by our asking. – Richard J. Foster

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

No matter what comes, we have reason to give thanks to God. Our gratitude ought not be dependent on our circumstances, but rather on who God is, and that we belong to Him. When we are able to express gratitude in the midst of difficulties, our witness to the world is far more powerful. Anyone can profess praise when times are good, but it is only by the grace of God that we are able to truly have a thankful heart when times are tough. May we begin each day with a heart full of thanks, regardless of what we face; for God is good and we are walking in His will when we choose to give our gratitude unto Him.

No matter what comes,Doing Good Mutes Malicious Talk

let our hearts give praise;

endless offering,

for all of our days.

Because we belong,

to the Lord of all;

in each circumstance,

may we heed His call.

We’re called to give thanks,

because God is good;

and when we do so,

His truth’s understood.

All thanks be to God,

our Savior and King;

to whom we belong,

with grateful hearts, sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for every moment that You grant us in this life, no matter what it includes. Thank You that You do not waste even one second, even the painful ones, for those who belong to You. Thank You that You show us more of You through every circumstance we encounter. When there is blessing, we see Your generosity. When there is struggle, we see Your comfort and provision that comes at just the right moment. Thank You that every circumstance is used to draw us closer to You. Forgive us for not taking every opportunity given to offer our gratitude unto You, for in You we have our life and breath and very being. Teach us to trust You more, so that thanks and praise become a natural outpouring from our hearts, each time we come before You or mention Your Name. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may see that all blessings flow from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose gratitude in all circumstances because we belong to You. 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

Suffering is a natural part of our human existence. Sinful and broken people cause harm that results in adversity, as well as the mere existence of illness and disease that also provide places of pain, distress and hardship. We are not promised a life that is free from suffering, but rather we have hope and help for comfort and strength in the midst of our struggles, and the hope that is held in the promise of that which is yet to come.

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. – (1 Peter 5:10, NLT)

Hardship and suffering seem to be seasonal. We go through seasons of struggle and seasons of blessing. In our most challenging times, God affords us the opportunity to seek Him and find Him in ways that we never have before. When we do, we come to know His strength, power and presence, in a tangible way, and recognize the hope we hold in Him. Though the suffering and struggles are never pleasant, they are the spaces in which we grow most, and if we are willing, God can use our trials to touch and encourage the lives of others to draw them closer to Himself. May we recognize the kindness of God, even in the midst of our storms, as He has called us to share in His eternal glory forever. Let His love lead us, as He restores, supports and strengthens us, again setting our feet on His firm foundation so that we may walk wherever He calls.

The God of all grace,Hold My Heart

has called unto us;

to forever trust,

His own Son, Jesus.

For in suffering,

our hope is made known;

as we’re granted strength,

by God on the throne.

He stays by our side,

no matter how rough;

the battle we face,

our God is enough.

He’ll set our feet sure,

both firm and steadfast;

and our hope in Him,

forever shall last.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the suffering and trials that all of us endure at one point or another, You are present and willing to strengthen us and be our help and our hope. Thank You too that though You do not bring the trials nor suffering, You use them to grow us closer to You. Thank You that You can use even our ugliest ashes to bring beauty, hope and strength to another. Forgive us for allowing fear or anxiousness to reign in the midst of suffering and trials. Teach us to place all of our hope in You, so that we would recognize that though the suffering is for a season, glory with You will be for all of eternity. Lead us to love others with an eternal perspective, so that our desire will be that each will come into a saving knowledge of who You are and how You love. May many choose to trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to restore us, strengthen us and make us firm and steadfast for You, despite our trials. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

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