It is for Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, NIV)

Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, ERV)

Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of His one body. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, TPT)

 

Yesterday was a strange day for me at school. My heart was heavy off and on, all day, yet my classes went fairly well, so His peace was present within me. Strangely, a few of my toughest students were absent too, so I had a bit of reprieve from random rogue rebellion. During my last class of the day, one student displayed concerning behaviors. He is not the same kiddo that began my class a few short weeks ago, and I am desperately attempting to figure out why. I spoke with him, but it felt fruitless. After school I sought another pair of his teachers to find out if the same behaviors were manifesting in their rooms. One was witnessing similar to me, whereas the other was not. The mystery of this student’s switch in behavior added to the heaviness I was already carrying. With little resolve, I trudged to the office to check my box before returning to my classroom to clear out for the day. On the way back, I had to pause and turn my face toward the sunshine. The warmth on the cool day, was a blessing that I could not pass by. Then, as I rounded the corner to enter the back door to my classroom, I was buzzed by a beautiful blue dragonfly. In that moment, I stopped and thanked God, as I was reminded of His care and presence, even in my heaviness. When I loaded into my car and was all set to go, Anchor, by Skillet, filled my vehicle. Again, I gave thanks for the kind reminder of God’s nearness, and for the peace that settled over me as I made my way home. As a result of God’s goodness and faithfulness to me, individually, I was equipped and able to go and serve as part of the body with our small group at an event at our local elementary school. His peace was with me, and it was a sweet evening watching families participate in a school’s family event. May we ever seek the Lord to be the peace that rules our hearts and minds, so that we may go forth with thanksgiving, in peace, as we operate as part His body.

Yesterday, I was able to visit with mom while she was eating breakfast. As always, it was great to hear her voice and her resolve, as she announced the day’s agenda to me. On the schedule, she had a physical therapy evaluation and speech therapy. Mom was determined to work hard, and I will be eager to hear how it all went. My prayer is that peace and gratitude continue to reign in her heart as she works tirelessly on this journey to recovery.

 

May the peace of Christ, Made With Purpose

Rule both heart and mind;

As we seek the Lord,

Peace is what we’ll find.

When we have His peace,

Far better we give;

Unto the body,

Help to truly live.

And with thankful hearts,

May we give God praise;

For life, hope and peace,

Throughout all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and know us, individually. Thank You that You see our needs and You extend Your peace in ways that make Your presence known. Thank You that You call us to peace as part of the body. Forgive us for our lack of gratitude when things feel heavy. Teach us to recognize Your peace and Your presence, even when the weight of the world is resting upon our hearts. Show us how to love those around us in ways that passes along Your perfect peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise forever; for You are our perfect peace. Amen.

 

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

 

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. – Psalm 62:1

Rooted in Hope

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior; and my hope is in You all day long. – (Psalm 25:5, NIV)

Guide me and teach me Your truths. You are my God, my Savior. You are the One I have been waiting for. – (Psalm 25:5, ERV)

Lead me; teach me; for You are the God who gives me salvation. I have no hope except in You. – (Psalm 25:5, TLB)

 

This is a critical reminder when we walk through difficult seasons. We must be led and guided by truth; rooted in our hope in God, who is our salvation. Circumstances change, situations ebb and flow, and emotions are not trustworthy. Even the people whom God gifts to us, are not who we are to place our trust upon. Yes, we can appreciate their presence as they walk beside us, but ultimately, we must rely on God. Today, as I prepare to head home for six days, the longest stretch I have been home in more than six weeks, I have to allow God to lead and teach me, and place my hope and trust in Him. When I arrive home, I will have one evening to spend with my husband before he leaves for a week-long motorcycle trip with some of his best buddies. The trip has been planned for six months, and it is important that he goes. For me, it is a bit heartbreaking to not have time with my husband, yet I have to recognize that my boys need their mom, and the time that we will have, just the three of us, is likely a much-needed gift. Also, I will finally have time with my best friend, who will be home the entire time. God knows what we need, and I trust that He will use the time the way that is best. I will be able to teach the final three days of the school year, and worship together with my church family on Sunday. Sadly, my running bestie will be in Belize, leading a team of nurses as she orchestrates a blood drive and various village outreaches, yet again, I know that there is a plan waiting for me.

As for mom, yesterday was a bit of a recovery day. In the morning, she was greeted by a quick visit from her best friend. We had quite a leisurely few hours, prior to her first in-home visit by the nurse, so it was a mellow morning. The doctor called to let us know the findings from the heart monitor. Thankfully, the results removed the mystery surrounding mom’s stroke, and provide clearer guidance as to how to actively prevent any further such occurrences. Answers aid in annihilating fear, and help us find footing to forge forward in faith. Another dear friend of mom’s stopped by for a quick visit and hug after lunch, and by the time she left, mom was ready for a solid siesta. Physical therapy took on a whole different look in the late afternoon, as mom is a morning person, and that time of day was not ideal. Victor was excellent at encouraging and adapting, and adjusted the exercises she worked on to meet her where she was at, and she finished the session feeling phenomenally successful. Her strength in her right leg is increasing daily, and it is incredible to watch her recognize what she is capable of doing.

May God guide us in His truth and teach us His ways; as He is our hope forever.

 

Grow where you’re planted,

img_2019-06-13_07-35-162822718710399486623.jpg

Flowers from mom’s yard. Hope planted in faith… ❤

Find hope each new day;

For God’s word is truth,

And He lights the way.

We must trust in Him,

And not what we see;

Now is a moment,

Not eternity.

Trust that there is good,

Though it seems unclear;

For God is greater,

His presence is near.

God’s ways are higher,

Than what we might think;

He’s our safe harbor,

When we fear we’ll sink.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You guide us and teach us, and that You are our Savior and our hope. Thank You that hope is not dependent on what we see nor feel, but rather on who You are. Forgive us for losing sight of the truth. Teach us to trust You more, especially when we are hoping in things other than You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that shares hope in spaces where it is absent. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to guide us and teach us, trusting You to be our hope alone. Amen.

 

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

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:6

Humility and Wisdom Go Hand in Hand

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. – (James 3:13, NIV)

Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk that counts. – (James 3:13, MSG)

If you consider yourself to be wise and one who understands the ways of God, advertise it with a beautiful, fruitful life guided by wisdom’s gentleness. Never brag or boast about what you’ve done and you’ll prove that you’re truly wise. – (James 3:13, TPT)

 

Humility and wisdom go hand in hand. Jesus is our ultimate example as to how to walk out a life that is lived accordingly. He loved people as a priority, and was passionate about being in His Father’s presence. As we prioritize time with God, we gain wisdom that comes from Him alone. It is through Him that we are equipped to live and love well, in humility and gentleness, according to His good and perfect will. Talking about living such a life and actually walking it out, are two entirely different things. Wisdom is witnessed in those whose lives model God’s loving kindness and gentleness. Actions always speak louder than words alone. May we ever seek solitude with our Savior, so that we may gain a deeper understanding of who He is and how we are called to love. As we do, we are better equipped to live well, live wisely and live humbly.

 

We’re called to wisdom, Hope in Discouragement

And humility;

To live our lives well,

Compassionately.

A life of this sort,

Is grounded in grace;

Given by Jesus,

As we seek His face.

A life that’s lived well,

In humility;

Occur when we make,

Love priority.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to live well, live wisely and live humbly. Thank You that this is not something that You simply expect us to know how to carry out on our own, but rather You give us wisdom and strength to follow that which You call us to do as we seek You and invest in knowing You more. Forgive us for not seeking You for wisdom when we need it most, or for not walking in humility and taking credit where the credit due is Yours. Teach us to lead lives that demonstrate Your wisdom through our every action, as we seek to humbly do Your will in love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that grants them eyes to see You through our every word and deed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek You for wisdom, love and direction, so that we may live wisely and humbly, walking out Your will. Amen.

 

 

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

 

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. – Psalm 25:9

Jettison Judgment

Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. – (Romans 14:13, NIV)

So, we should stop judging each other. Let’s decide not to do that will cause a problem for a brother or sister or hurt their faith. – (Romans 14:13, ERV)

So, don’t criticize each other anymore. Try instead to live in such a way that you will never make your brother stumble by letting him see you doing something he thinks is wrong. – (Romans 14:13, TLB)

 

This is a two-fold instruction for us to follow. First, we are not called to judge one another. Rather, we are called to love. The very nature of loving others includes making choices that will not bring harm to them. If we are mindful of the things that are a struggle for those around us, we will be abiding by the second part of what we are instructed to do. We each have a different level of what is and is not acceptable in our own eyes and within our own walk with God. If we know that another cannot or does not do something because it is what they feel is right before God, then it is not that difficult to refrain from it in their presence, so as to not lead them to be tempted to judge us. Above all, if we are guided by God in choosing to love one another first, the latter is less likely to be as much of a struggle. May we ever seek the Lord and His eyes for others, so that we would see through the lens of love, rather than judgment.

 

Seek first to choose love, choose-love1

So we will not judge;

Brothers and sisters,

Whom we’re called to love.

Likewise, let us seek,

To walk in a way;

That does not distract,

As we live each day.

If we are aware,

Of stumbling blocks;

Simply choose avoid,

Those things as we talk.

It is far better,

To build others up;

Love with open hearts,

And fill well their cup.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You forgive us and love us as we are. Thank You that when we seek You, You will lead us and direct our steps as to how to love best. Forgive us for judging others or for saying or doing things that cause those around us to stumble. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You for wisdom as to how to best navigate each encounter with others to demonstrate love above all else. Show us how to love without judgment and to walk in Your grace so that we do not draw judgment from others. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to show us others through Your eyes so that we do not judge, and to grant us wisdom to walk upright and not cause those around us to stumble. Amen.

 

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

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1

 

Justice and Faithfulness

He guards the path of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him. – (Proverbs 2:8, NLT)

God protects the paths of those who pursue justice, watching over the lives of those who keep faith with Him. – (Proverbs 2:8, VOICE)

 

As a self-professed “word nerd“, I wanted a bit more context to the word just. According to dictionary.com, just means being guided by truth. For me, this made far more sense, for if we are faithful to God, we will be guided by truth. When we seek Him and His will, He leads, guides and guards us as we go. May we pursue justice in faithful pursuit of God, and allow the Lord to lead as He protects the path on which He calls us to proceed.

 

God protects the path,I Will Go

of those who pursue;

a life lived justly,

as we’re called to do.

He will watch over,

the faithful and true;

those who keep seeking,

to see the Lord’s view.

His heart is for us,

His love never ends;

faithful forever,

for us He contends.

Blessings are poured out,

as we persevere;

hope for forever,

and knowing He’s near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You guard the path of those who faithfully seek You and are guided by Your truth. Thank You that You watch over our lives and protect us as we go. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness. Teach us to persevere, even when things are difficult or seemingly without hope, for our hope is found in You. Show us how to love others as we are guided by truth, so that they too, might see Your love and faithfulness through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue justice and remain faithful to You. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Truth to Trust

For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. – (Psalm 33:4-5, NLT)

The Lord’s word is true, and He is faithful in everything He does. He loves goodness and justice. The Lord’s faithful love fills the earth. – (Psalm 33:4-5, ERV)

For all God’s words are right, and everything He does is worthy of our trust. He loves whatever is just and good; the earth is filled with His tender love. – (Psalm 33:4-5, TLB)

 

God and His word are right and true, and we can trust Him in all things and at all times. The Lord loves what is right and is guided by His truth. His love surrounds us, and it never fails. We only begin to grasp glimpses of God’s great love when we seek to know Him and His word. The more we invest in knowing Him, the greater He grows our understanding of who He is and how He loves. May we seek Him with all that we are, and lay hold of the truth that can always be trusted. Let us embrace that which is just and good, and be ever aware of His tender love that is all around us.

 

The truth shall be found,

when we seek the Lord;The Reason for Reverence

for God and His word,

where truth is outpoured.

All that the Lord does,

we can by faith, trust;

for all of His ways,

are righteous and just.

God’s unfailing love,

fills up the whole earth;

is ours to receive,

He grants us His worth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is true and that You are faithful in all that You do. Thank You that You love goodness and justice, and that You are worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that Your love fills the whole earth. Forgive us for doubting Your love for us, or not trusting You to be for us when all seems to be against us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace the truth, trusting You in all things and at all times – for You are with us and You are for us. Show us how to receive Your unfailing love, so that we can go and love likewise to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You and Your word, knowing without question, that You are faithful, loving and worthy of all of our trust. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

 

Obey Without Delay

Immediate obedience is what the Lord asks of us, but so often, it takes a bit of time to either wrap our heads around what exactly it is that He is asking, or to find the faith to step out and do that which we are being called to do.

 

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and His mother,” the angel said…”because Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, His mother. (Matthew 2:13-14, NLT)

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel…” So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and His mother. (Matthew 2:19-21, NLT)

Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for a region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth… (Matthew 2:22b-23a, NLT)

 

Joseph is acknowledged for his obedience to marry Mary, despite what was perceived. He listened to the angel of the Lord, and did what was right in the eyes of God. That being said, I’ve never given much thought to the steps of obedience that he carefully took after the birth of Jesus. I wonder if he had been so eternally changed by his initial visit by an angel, that he was on constant standby to hear the instructions of the Lord, as he was well aware of the significance of his role in raising the Son of God? Joseph was human and he had a free will. He did not have to obey what was asked of him, but he did – and he did so immediately. His decisions had an impact on all of history. God guided him, but Joseph chose to obey.

 

How often are we in such circumstances? Though we are not raising the Son of God, what if we are raising the next leader of a church, a city, an organization or a nation? What we do matters. Our obedience has the capacity to shape not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. We never really know the significance of our decisions, until long after they have been made. May we listen well for His voice, and choose to step out in obedience as soon as we hear what He is asking. Let the Lord be our strength, courage and light, as we move in the direction that He calls us to go.

 

When God speaks to us,

do we choose obey?Break Camp and Move Out

Does our heart move now,

or wait one more day?

What is the impact,

of obedience?

It’s not about us,

nor our convenience.

Our one decision,

could open the way;

for His light to shine,

on the darkest day.

Our obedience,

matters a great deal;

for God uses us,

to show that He’s real.

Let hearts be open,

and ears set to hear;

may we choose obey,

without pause or fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us so many examples in Your word of those who boldly and without hesitation, obeyed that which You asked of them. Thank You too, that it is clear why it was necessary for obedience to be immediate. Thank You that You speak to our hearts, and we need simply to listen to know what we are to do and where we are to go. Forgive us for our hesitation and delay to those things that we know You are asking of us. Grow in us a faith that says “Yes and Amen” immediately, to whatever we hear You asking. Show us how to love others in a way that makes Your goodness and grace evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your leading and then take steps of obedience as soon as we know what we have heard. Amen.

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

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

Thanks Beyond the Scope of Simply Seeing

I will thank the Lord because He is just; I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord Most High. – (Psalm 7:17, NLT)

Yet another reason to thank the Lord is for the nature of His character. He is just; (guided by truth, reason, justice and fairness – dictionary.com) because He is the truth, therefore He determines what is reasonable, grants justice, and provides fairness according to His standards, not our own. The justice that we long to see, often takes place beyond the scope of our simply seeing. The Lord’s justice has eternal consequence, it is not often only a here and now action. Again, our response to God and His Name Most High, ought to be to offer all of our thanks and praise. As we sing praise unto Him, our hearts lay hold of the truth of who He is, and the faithfulness that He provides not only in the here and now, but for all that is yet to come. May we thank the Lord because He is just, and sing praise to His Name Most High.

O Lord, we give thanks,It is Grace that Saves

because You are just;

we choose to sing praise,

unto God with us.

For Your Name is great,

as You are what’s true;

You grant us justice,

and make all things new.

No matter what’s seen,

O God, You provide;

present in battle,

with arms open wide.

We give You all thanks,

and sing You our praise;

ever lift our voice,

for all of our days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are just. Thank You that You are worthy of all of our thanks and praise. Forgive us for not trusting that You are at work on our behalf, even when we cannot see the evidence of the movement You are making. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone deserve all of our trust, as You are forever faithful and true. Help our hearts to hold fast to an attitude of thanks and praise, regardless of what we see. Show us how to love others with open arms, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You for Your justice and sing praises unto Your Most Holy Name. 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

A Heart that is Willing

When one of the teachers of the law came and asked Jesus which of the commandments was most important, His response is what clearly guided His every day on earth, and likewise should do the same for us. “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no command greater than these.” – (Mark 12:29-31)

 

Jesus not only modeled His commitment to love God and love people with His days, for He did also, unto His death. When praying in the garden, prior to His path to the cross, Jesus prayed the following: “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” – (Mark 14:36)

 

Jesus was willing to walk the hard and painful road unto the cross, to bear the brunt of all of our sin and shame. In Christ’s most difficult hours, He demonstrated His love and devotion to God and to all of us, despite His knowing the suffering He’d have to endure. His entire heart, soul, mind and strength were pelted with the pain of people who were steeped in the ugliness of sin. Jesus willingly took it all upon Himself so that we could have new life in Him. May we receive all that He has granted, and go forth loving God and loving people, with all that we are.

 

His heart was willing,Peace He Brings

to walk the hard road;

to endure all things,

that had been foretold.

For Jesus, He knew,

the price He would pay;

yet because He loved,

He chose anyway.

Christ showed us what love,

really ought to be;

our heart, soul and mind,

committed, set free.

For when we love God,

and our neighbors too;

Christ’s love is made known,

as His hope shines through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son. Jesus, thank You that You came to show us how to live life loving God and loving people. Thank You that You modeled the ultimate life of obedience unto the Lord. Thank You that we need only look to Your word to understand how we are meant to follow after Your own heart. Forgive us for not loving God or loving people as You intended for us to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might love with abandon – unhindered by fear. Lead us to pour into the lives of those around us, as You so generously pour into ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we too are willing to love You and love people, with all that You have created us to be. Amen.

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

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

Truth and Light

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. – (John 3:21)

 

When we live God’s way and pursue the path of His truth, we walk in His light, where it is evident to others that the good that we do is done through the power and presence of our great and gracious God. May we ever persevere in our pursuit of God, so that we are continually living in His light. May we reflect His love to all whom we encounter, today and always.

 

All who live by truth,Truth and Light

walk plain in His light;

displaying the Lord,

through each day and night.

Wherever we go,

and whatever’s done;

if we live for God,

we’ll reflect His Son.

Let us persevere,

in a truth-filled life;

making our Source clear,

the Ender of strife.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, and trust You enough to pursue a life guided by the truth, we enter Your light and become beacons that You use to reflect Your radiance. Thank You that anything good that we accomplish is not done in our own strength, but can only be done because of You. Thank You that You are our Source, our Strength, and our Supply in all things and at all times. Forgive us for attempting to do things on our own, or for somehow thinking that You won’t give us what is needed to accomplish what You call us to do. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to recognize that You supply us what we need for each next step as we move forward in faith, not as we are standing still. Lead us to love and serve others well, just as Jesus came to love and serve. May many come into a lasting relationship with You during this season of remembering You. Be glorified O God, as we live by Your truth and come into Your light. 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