Saving Strength

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him. – (Exodus 15:2, NLT)

The Lord is my strength. He saves me, and I sing songs of praise to Him. He is my God, and I praise Him. – (Exodus 15:2, ERV)

The Eternal is my strength and my song, and He has come to save me; He is my God, and I will praise Him. – (Exodus 15:2, VOICE)

 

Going to Minnesota with my fiancée was an incredible blessing, as I was able to meet so many of his extended family members, hear stories of his life growing up, and see the places that were significant in his formative years. The challenging part of an escape such as that, is the responsibility that waits upon one’s return home. Throughout my entire flight back, I was grading papers that students had spent last week finishing up or rewriting. Upon arriving home, there was little time for much visiting, but rather I had to get right back to grading and entering scores, as semester grades were due by midnight. Though my body had adapted to Minnesota time, I was incredibly enabled to stay alert until the last grade was entered and posted. Today is an equally hectic day, as a new semester begins, it is the first day of gymnastics, and I have football practice this evening. I will trust in Him to be my strength and song, as He provides what I need as it is needed most. May we ever seek the One who is our strength and song, as He is our God and worthy of all of our praise.

 

The Lord is my strength,

Strong Heart

My joy and my song;

He grants victory,

To continue on.

For He is my God,

Whom I’ll ever praise;

For goodness and grace,

He gives all my days.

On days I’m weary,

He’s still faithful true;

He fills me again,

With strength, makes me new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are my strength and my song. Thank You that You give us all that we need to navigate each new day as we depend on You. Thank You that though things seem impossible or overwhelming in our own strength, in You, we can do far more. Forgive us for attempting to power through when things pile up, and teach us to turn to You in trust for strength. Show us how to lovingly walk beside others who are heavy burdened too, so that they may find new strength and hope and joy in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength and our song, and praise You for Your faithfulness, always. 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 Foundation of Wisdom

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. – (Proverbs 9:10, NLT)

Wisdom begins with fear and respect for the Lord. Knowledge of the Holy One leads to understanding. – (Proverbs 9:10, ERV)

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – (Proverbs 9:10, CEB)

 

The sort of fear that comes from respect and reverence for our Redeemer is the very space that results in real understanding as to who God is and how He loves. As we grow in our understanding, wisdom weaves its way into our hearts. To know God, one cannot help but stand in awe and wonder as to who He is and how He loves, in spite of who we are and all that we have done. Growing up, I had a healthy fear of my mom, not because she was scary or unkind, but rather because I wanted to do well and please her, as she did so much for me. It is much the same with God. Though He has the power to determine the number of my days, He is a loving God and the fear that leads to wisdom, is more one of recognizing who He is and how One so incredible could care for individuals among the billions alive on the earth. I want to choose well and be wise because He has chosen me. May we ever seek to know the Lord with proper awe and reverence, so that we may find wisdom to walk in His ways.

 

The fear of the Lord, Refreshment Through Repentance

Is where wisdom’s found;

True knowledge of Him,

Leads to choices, sound.

Real understanding,

From the Holy One;

Is granted by grace,

As we seek the Son.

Help us choose be wise,

With respect and fear;

Trust the Holy One,

For He will draw near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we fear and revere You, You reveal more of who You are and how You love. Thank You that the more that we know You, the better our understanding becomes to make wise decisions. Forgive us for not giving You the proper praise and awe that is due, and for not seeking to understand more of You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would ever pursue Your will and Your way. Lead us to walk in wisdom according to Your will. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates respect and reverence for You, and inspires good judgment. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom with reverent hearts, desiring to do Your will throughout our days. Amen.

 

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

 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Living and Loving Well

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave His life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters. – (1 John 3:16, ERV)

 

As I spent much of yesterday with my mom, moving the belongings of my dearly departed grandmother, I recognized how much this rang true in her life. It was because she gave her love, her encouragement, her help and her hope, that my Gram’s life so impacted everyone around her. Daily, she gave her life away. She did not cling closely to things, but rather was generous with all. Gram, in her lifetime had experienced times of very little during the Great Depression; and a time of plenty, after years of being wise with what she had. Throughout my entire existence, she always lavishly gave of herself. Whenever we would meet, a strong squeeze of a hug would embrace me, despite her dainty size. Her words and kindness did the very same for my heart, and whatever exchange we would have during a visit, always lasted long after our seemingly short time together. Even now, I can imagine her laughter and way with words, as they were so readily given away. She was my truest tangible example of real love, outside of my own household growing up. If I can emulate but a fraction of her love and generosity to those around me, then I will have lived my life very well. May we each seek to give away, the greatest gifts that we have been given.

 

The beauty that’s seen,With Gram2

When we realize;

The look of real love,

Hope before our eyes.

As we give away,

All we’re meant to be;

People see the hope,

That Jesus sets free.

Because Jesus gave,

We also can give;

All that we’ve become,

So all might choose live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to show us through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, what real love is all about. Thank You too, for the beautiful, tangible examples of the faithful that You have placed in our lives, that show us again and again, what it means to give our lives away. Thank You for the lifelong gift of my Gram, and the role model that she was for all who knew her. Forgive us for withholding the very things that You have placed in us to share with those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would willingly and generously give all that we are to all that we do. Show us how to love those around us with our lives. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all that we are to living and loving well. 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

Tending to His Temple

You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. God paid a very high price to make you His. So honor God with your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ERV)

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God! – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, VOICE)

 

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was blessed with parents who invested in my physical being as well as my spiritual training. Soccer, gymnastics, skiing, and softball were staples in my growing up years, then in college I discovered a passion and natural aptitude for crew. As an adult, I enjoyed jujitsu and kickboxing, then later discovered a love for running. Most recently, a bit over a year ago, a friend plugged me into kettlebell training. Today, I will be participating in my first Tactical Strength Challenge Competition. My hope is that just as I seek the Lord each day to train my heart and mind so that I may honor Him with my words and deeds; so too, I long to give Him glory with my body, as He has blessed me with a body that is strong and healthy, and I desire to use it wisely. This temple of the Holy Spirit that I have received, is not my own. I have done my best to tend well the temple, through healthy eating and rigorous physical training. Though I have personal goals for today’s outcome, my ultimate goal is that I might bring Him glory in all that I say and do, regardless of the environment. May this temple that I have been given to tend, offer light and hope to all whom I encounter.

 

Within a temple,IMG_2036

each of our hearts dwell;

home to God’s Spirit,

we‘re called to tend well.

Purchased at a price,

our life didn’t come free;

for Christ’s love alone,

is for you and me.

For all we’ve received,

and to God’s glory;

let us honor well,

God with our bodies.

Help us to go forth,

and shine well Your light;

so others may see,

the path that is right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You paid the price for us, so that we might know what it is to have the Holy Spirit dwell within us. Thank You that our bodies are the temple of Your Holy Spirit, and that we are trusted to tend Your temple well. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected any part of the temple that we have been given – be it body, heart or mind. Show us how to honor You with what we have been given, so that all glory goes to You. Teach us how to love others in such a way, that we are light and life that lead those who are looking, unto You. Help us to lift up and encourage all those around us, as You so lovingly do for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor You with our bodies. Amen.

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

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

Storms Stilled to a Whisper

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. – (Psalm 107:29)

One of the things I have loved about growing up in the Pacific Northwest is the proximity to the water.  The repetition and rhythm of the waves rolling into the shore, are among my favorite sounds.  When a storm comes through, there is nothing quite so awe inspiring as the power and force with which the waves crash and the seas churn.  When the wind and waves whip at full force, there is no wisdom in nearing the water’s edge.  Yet Christ in us, is in the eye of every storm, and can choose to simply say, “Be still,” and all that is crashing around us, will have to yield to the mighty hand of God.  Even if the storm that is raging around us is not silenced, He will hush all that is hurling to and fro within us.  May we seek He who calms our storms to a whisper, and can causes the waves to hush within our hearts.  Let us be still and know that He is God.

The mighty waves crash,Waves of Wonder

and the seas, they roar;

yet we’re hidden in,

One who says, “No more.”

What’s raging, brought calm,

stillness to the heart;

that’s tossed to and fro,

His peace won’t depart.

So ask for the calm,

yet receive His grace;

know that He will still,

the most needed space.

God of all comfort,

Creator of peace;

Sustainer of life,

Who grants us release.

Take pause in the storms,

and trust in the One;

Who can with a word,

make all stillness come.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You still storms to a whisper and that You hush the waves of raging seas – be it externally in what surrounds us, or within the walls of our own hearts.  Thank You that when we seek You and depend on You, You are faithful to meet us where we are at, and You bring Your peace.  Forgive us for fighting the storms rather than relenting and allowing You to navigate us to safety.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first in all things and at all times, no matter what storms may appear on our horizon.  Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, can see how You still the storms.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we are still before You in the calm and in the storms, placing our faith in You to lead us to safe harbor.  Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Reckless Words

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise bring healing. – (Proverbs 12:18)

 

All of us, at one time or another, have likely been both the issuer and the recipient, of reckless words. Growing up, the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” somehow stuck and was on constant replay whenever unkind words came my way. I found solace in silence, as I retreated from recklessness. Still, it took being surrounded by tender wisdom, where words of encouragement flowed freely, before healing truly began to happen.

 

Today, I find the same to still be true. Community is critical, and I am called to surround myself with wise women who can speak truth, when the world tries to do otherwise. I too, am to do the same for all whom I encounter. If I cannot speak light and life to another, then I am not meant to speak at all. God is faithful to provide both words and opportunity to extend encouragement, if only I make myself available to hear His heart for others.

 

When reckless words,Reckless Words

pierce like a sword;

hear God’s own heart,

wisdom’s accord.

Tongue of the wise,

brings healing, hope;

encouragement,

to stay afloat.

As hearts are healed,

they too, speak life;

disarming swords,

an end to strife.

Let His light shine,

through spoken word;

may God’s own heart,

be the voice heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply. Thank You that You bring healing and forgiveness when reckless words are spoken, and You grant wisdom so that we too, might be Your voice of truth that offers healing to the hurting. Forgive us for our reckless words, thoughts and deeds, and grant us wisdom to slow down and seek You before we speak or act in anger. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times. Let Your love be what shines through us to all whom we encounter. May many come to know Your saving grace, as they enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified through the words we speak, and may they bring life and healing to all. 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. – I Peter 2:19