Forward without Fear

But He said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. – (John 6:20-21, NIV)

But He said to them, “Don’t be afraid. It’s Me.” When He said this, they were glad to take Him into the boat. And then the boat reached the shore at the place they wanted to go. – (John 6:20-21, ERV)

Jesus (to the disciples): I am the One. Don’t be afraid. They welcomed Jesus aboard their small vessel; and when He stepped into the boat, the next thing they knew, they were ashore at their destination. – (John 6:20-21, VOICE)

 

Seriously? Why have I never caught the significance in this passage prior to this morning? Perhaps that is why this whole journey for me is called Revelations in Writing… I guess He shows me what I need to know, when I need to know it most.

Anyway, my giant aha this morning is that in the verses prior to the ones listed above, John (the Apostle), mentions that the disciples were three or four miles out from shore, in a storm. Previously, what had stood out to me, was that Jesus calmed the storm when He stepped into the boat; however, it goes far beyond the sudden stillness. Jesus miraculously moved them from three or four miles out in the middle of the tumultuous lake, to the specific spot on the shore that they had intended to go. For me, this is a tremendous reminder of God’s power to move us miraculously in His timing. Jesus was well aware of where the disciples were rowing on the lake; He knew where they were headed and where they needed to go. In the same way, Jesus knows exactly where my mom is heading next from her current acute care facility; He sees and is fully aware of the work she is doing to propel herself to the next step, and He is with her and able to move her however He sees best, according to His miraculous timing. What He does between now and her projected transition to home date is in His hands. He sees and He knows her needs. The same greeting of “Don’t be afraid”, resonates today, as He is with us, every step of the way.

Mom is gaining new strength and confidence every day, as the “awakening” of her muscles continues. She is still waiting, desperately for it to work its way down to her hand and foot, but her perseverance and commitment to the challenging work is inspiring and full of hope. May we ever rely on the same God who can meet us stranded at sea in the midst of a storm, and in an instant, move us to the safety of the shore.

 

No matter the space,quiet-hope-e1516279596955.jpg

You find yourself in;

Jesus is nearby,

He knows where and when.

The very same God,

Who calmed stormy seas;

Can take us ashore,

Bring peace within me.

God sees all our needs,

And hears ev’ry prayer;

He’s faithful always,

Present to show care.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You reveal Yourself to us in new ways through Your word, when we need it most. Thank You that when You walked on water in the midst of a storm, You not only calmed the storm, but You took the disciples from the middle of a space that was far from the safety of the shore, and instantly moved them to the place that they were headed. Forgive us for forgetting just how powerful You truly are. Teach us to trust beyond what our eyes can see and our hearts can understand. God, we are trusting and believing for the miraculous. Show us how to love and encourage those around us, so that we are ever aware of the miracles that are made new every morning that we rise and draw breath. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk by faith and not by sight, for You are a faithful and loving God forever. Amen.

 

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

 

For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

Trust to be Led

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” – (Isaiah 48:17, NLT)

The Lord, the Savior, the Holy One of Israel, says, “I am the Lord your God. I teach you for your own good. I lead you in the way you should go.” – (Isaiah 48:17, ERV)

“I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go.” – (Isaiah 48:17, MSG)

 

God is and was and will always be the One who is ready to teach us and lead us the direction that we are meant to go. At times, we cannot see how the direction we are being led could possibly lead to good, and then, at just the right time, we begin to discover the purpose. Often the journey leads to discoveries about who God is and how He loves, that we would not have otherwise known. There are times that we do not understand the good until we reach the other side of the mountain that He led us to climb. Despite the struggle on the way up, the view when we reach the other side is even more glorious than we could have dreamed or imagined. He is good, and He will lead us the way we are meant to go, if only we are willing to seek Him for direction. May we ever listen to the Lord’s leading, for He is good and takes us to places we would never attempt to traverse on our own.

 

The Lord, He is good,

dsc085178740783907006225248.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

He’ll show us the way;

The paths we’re to take,

And when we’re to stay.

He grants us the strength,

To go where He leads;

And shows us the way,

In Him, to succeed.

So, seek to live right,

Follow the Lord’s will;

He’ll take us places,

Where hopes are fulfilled.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a good and loving God. Thank You that You lead us and teach us the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that You have good in store for us, no matter how things appear along the way. Forgive us for our doubts when the road becomes rough. Teach us to trust You more, no matter the condition of the path we are called to travel, as You are faithful to go before us, beside us, and behind us, and equip us to get where we’re meant to go. Show us how to love, encourage and strengthen those around us, so that they would stay the course to which they are called. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust You to lead and teach us the ways we are meant to go forth. Amen.

 

 

© Shannon Elizabeth (Moreno) 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 3:5-6

Promise to Save

“For I am with you and will save you,” says the Lord. – (Jeremiah 30:11a, NLT)

I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord. – (Jeremiah 30:11a, CEB)

For I am with you to save you, declares the Lord. – (Jeremiah 30:11a, ESV)

 

When I am with people and my mind is occupied, I am in a reasonably good space, considering I am not allowed to do the very things I long to do the most. However, in the quiet moments, when I am alone, I find fear and anxiety try to find a foothold, as I become acutely aware of my own mortality and the potentially ticking time bomb that is currently calling a vein deep in my calf, home. I know that not one of us knows the number of our days, nor have we been given any sort of guarantee nor shelf life. However, I do know that this verse in Jeremiah is a great reminder this morning, as God is with me, and He will save me from this season in His time. For whatever reason, it is a road that I have to currently walk. I do not know if it is to learn patience, perseverance, or to simply be shown in an even greater capacity, how He remains present through all things. Whatever the reason, I will keep fixing my eyes on the reality that He is with me and that He is present to save. May we set our hearts and minds on the truth and trust in the Lord who is mighty to save.

 

Allow not the fear, Ready to Rescue

To find a way in;

For God is present,

He fights from within.

Ready to rescue,

The Lord’s ever near;

Let anxiousness go,

As He calms all fear.

Rise up in His strength,

Keep moving, be brave;

For God is with us,

He’s mighty to save.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us and You save us. Thank You that Your presence preserves and strengthens us as we keep pressing forward. Forgive us for our fears and anxiety over the unknown, as lack of faith fuels these things. Teach us to trust You more, for You have promised to be with us, always. Show us how to hold fast to Your promised presence, so that we will walk boldly into all that You ask of us. Lead us to love others in Your strength, so that we would encourage and support those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your presence and Your promise to save. Amen.

 

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

 

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

An Act of Praise

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His Holy Name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. – (Psalm 103:1-2, NLT)

My soul, praise the Lord! Every part of me, praise His Holy Name! My soul, praise the Lord and never forget how kind He is! – (Psalm 103:1-2, ERV)

O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless His Holy Name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! – (Psalm 103:1-2, MSG)

 

After digging deeper into the Christmas story, and the stories of those involved, my heart is flooded with gratitude – both for all that God has done for us to make Himself accessible to us, and also the numerous ways in which I see and know His tangible blessings in my life. God is good, no matter what goes on around us, and when we seek Him, we become acutely aware of His hand in the help and blessings that He bestows upon us every day. May our lives be lived as an act of praise to He who gives us life and breath and our very being.

 

With all that I am, Be Full of Joy

My heart gives God praise;

For love, life and health,

Provision each day.

So many blessings,

Fill my heart and soul;

His goodness and grace,

End each day so full.

Let me not forget,

The good that You bring;

All praise unto You,

Each song that I sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the countless reasons You have given me to give You praise. Thank You for the help and hope and blessings that You have bestowed upon me. Forgive me for not giving enough gratitude for Your goodness and grace. Teach me to praise You throughout all of my days. Show me how to love others with my life, just as You have done for all of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You with our whole heart with thanks for all that You are and all that You have done. 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

Keep Nothing Back

 

Listen, Learn and Follow His Lead

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the path you should follow.” – (Isaiah 48:17, NLT)

“I am the Lord your God. I teach you for your own good. I lead you in the way you should go.” – (Isaiah 48:17, ERV)

 

God is for us, and His instruction is to help us go in the direction that we are meant to go. He knows the outcome before we know the first step, so it is always best to listen and learn from all that He speaks into our lives. May we seek the Lord with our whole heart, and trust in Him to lead us where we are meant to go.

 

Let us turn to God,IMG_2491

For He teaches us;

The way we should go,

He’s worthy of trust.

He leads us along,

The path we’re to take;

He protects, provides,

Redeems our mistakes.

May we choose listen,

So our hearts will learn;

The ways we’re to go,

And where we’re to turn.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God who teaches us and leads us in the way we are meant to go. Thank You that You love us to life, so that we can learn and grow. Forgive us for neglecting to listen and attempting to pave our own path. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would follow Your leading, no matter where You call us to go. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too long to learn from One so faithful and worthy of all of our trust. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen, learn and follow Your lead. 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

 

His Hand is Our Help

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. – (Isaiah 41:13)

 

Have you ever been in a scary space of waiting? That place of uncertainty where desperation is beginning to creep in, and as you cry out to Christ, you cannot help but feel afraid? Currently, I am in a holding pattern that could be quite costly if Christ does not move in a mighty way, and quickly. I know He is far greater than my circumstances, but in my humanity, I cannot help but fight the fear. His presence is very real. I have known Christ in a tangible way since I was quite small. His faithfulness has been shown to me over and over again, throughout my entire life, yet I still find that fear creeps in. This morning, I needed this concrete reminder of Who exactly is in charge. The Lord, my God, will take hold of my hand, and He tells me to not be afraid, and that He will help me. This, this is reassurance. No matter what I see, or what I feel, He is in control. My job is to trust. Sometimes, the hardest part is actually extending my hand to reach for His, for fear that His hand will not be ready to take mine. That being said, He is always there waiting. Never will He leave us, nor forsake us. On Him alone, can we depend. may we reach out our right hand, past the point of fear, and allow the Lord to lead us and help us through our every circumstance.

 

In uncertainty,Compassion in Confrontations

when I am afraid;

I’ll reach out to You,

where all fears must fade.

For You take my hand,

and say, “Do not fear;”

and You are my help,

my hope that stays near.

No matter what’s seen,

Your truth shall remain;

You are far greater,

and make my path plain.

Lead me, Lord Jesus,

no matter what comes;

hold fast to my hand,

let Your will be done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord, my God, who takes hold of my right hand and tells me to not be afraid, because You will help me. Thank You that You are greater than any circumstance that comes our way, and that You are more than enough. Forgive us for our fears and lack of faith when trials come our way, and teach us to trust You more. Lead us to reach out our right hand with an unwavering faith, knowing that You are already there, waiting to take hold of us and lead us on the path that You have prepared for us to go. Show us how to love others with Your love, so that many may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we take Your hand and walk forward without fear, trusting You to be our help. Amen.

For a song that brings great reminders of His reassurance: Your Promises by Elevation Worship.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

God Will Help

Yesterday was the second and final day of the Ragnar Relay, that I partook in for the second year in a row. This relay is a 12 person, 196 mile event, that is continuous running until the course is completed. The race is divided into 36 legs, and each runner runs three different legs, that vary in length and terrain. There were two factors this year that made the course more challenging. First, I went from having the one of the shorter combined mileage total legs to the longest mileage legs. Additionally, the weather this year was HOT. I am typically an early morning or late evening runner, as I much prefer the cooler temperatures, or at least the heat that does not include the sun beating down on the pavement. For our van, van two, two out of the three legs that we ran, were directly run in the heat of the day. Direct sun on asphalt adds about twenty degrees to the air temperature when one is running, so the temperatures which we were enduring were upwards of 104+…

 

The interesting thing that I found myself doing on each of my runs, was I knew that despite all of my preparation, it would only be in His strength, that I would be able to endure and run the race that had been set before me. Each time I received the bracelet (in lieu of a baton) I would find myself praying nearly the entire run. Each time, I was thankful for a healthy body that was able to be out in such beautiful terrain and capable of moving freely. Next, I found myself letting the Lord know just how desperately I needed Him to sustain me, as during the daytime runs, I feared heat exhaustion without His strength and endurance. My middle of the night leg was my longest leg, as I ran 9.8 miles at 2am in the dark, through Deception Pass. With each run, I found that my legs kept moving, and my body knew what to do. He sustained me, and brought me joy in the journey, as I was able to take in the beauty that surrounded me as I ran. Even on the hardest legs in the heat, He used other runners, my teammates, and random strangers to encourage me along the way. Though one of the most exhausting and grueling tests of physical endurance I have endured, it was yet again an opportunity for God to show me more of Himself in a very tangible way. The verse that seems most fitting for the experience for me is as follows:

 

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. – (Psalm 46:5)

 

God sustains and protects His people as we call on His Name. He is present and able to provide, even in the seemingly impossible spaces. He is so very good. May we rise up and run, trusting in His strength to sustain us, so that others too, may see that it is He who is within us, is our help and our strength.

 

No matter our race,God Will Help

the Lord remains near;

whenever we pray,

our God, He shall hear.

For the Lord within,

will not let us fall;

He’ll help and sustain,

to that which we’re called.

From the break of day,

to the setting sun;

the Lord is faithful,

His love’s never done.

Let us choose to trust,

in the One who can;

provide what’s needed,

our wondrous I AM.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good. Thank You that when we place our trust in You, You are within us and You keep us from falling. Thank You that You are our help, no matter the hour of the day or night. Thank You that You have created us each with a far greater capacity than we think is possible until we step out and trust in You. Forgive us for limiting Your ability to move through us, through our choice to limit what we are willing to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be willing to step out in faith to whatever You ask of us. Lead us to love others well, so that they too, may come to know the love and faithfulness that is available in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus  Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Upheld By His Hand

Change is inevitable. At times, change is a choice that we embrace and make with enthusiasm, yet there are other times that change must occur in response to our present circumstances. During the latter, we seldom are responding with enthusiasm, and often it is instead a space of fear or dread. There is sorrow in such seeking, and a desperate need to know that the Lord is present in the catalyst of change that we feel called to make. Our difficult decisions for change that Christ calls us to, He also strengthens and upholds us as we move forward in faith.

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – (Isaiah 41:10)

 

Despite how things appear in the here and now, when Christ calls us to change, it is for our ultimate good. Though there may be a season of mourning, His joy does come again. We need not fear, for His presence is promised. We need not dismay, for we know Who is with us. He will strengthen, help and uphold us with His hand, not our own. It is not up to us to power through, rather we are meant to move in obedience; dependent on Him, each step of the way. May we release every fear to He who is our strength and our help, and trust Him to uphold us in His righteous right hand.

 

Lord help me embrace,Generous Giving

what You call me to;

though changes are hard,

I have help in You.

Even when sorrow,

accompanies change;

help me to trust You,

and call on Your Name.

Lord, help me not fear,

keep me from dismay;

be my strength and hope,

as I choose obey.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not fear, because You are with us. Thank You that we need not be dismayed, for You are our God. Thank You that You strengthen and help us; and that You hold us up in Your righteous right hand. Forgive us for our fearfulness, in spite of Your faithfulness. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be certain of all that You have promised and walk in obedience accordingly. Lead us to love others fearlessly and relentlessly, even if they are afraid to receive the love that You are providing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we surrender our fears and our fretting, and choose to embrace the strength and help that you provide as You hold us up in Your righteous right hand. Amen.

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

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

Who Do You See?

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” – (Matthew 16:15)

 

Though this was a question presented to the disciples by Jesus, it aligns with where my mind still lingers after Sunday’s message. During the sermon, Surprised by Hope – The Ascension, my pastor posed a very poignant question, as he had us participate in the following exercise. Close your eyes. Picture Jesus. What do you see? Do you see a baby lying in a manger? A boy, learning and growing in the temple? Perhaps a teen, learning carpentry? Or do you see Jesus as He began His ministry, touching the untouchables, healing the hurting, and teaching all who would hear? Perhaps an image of Christ on the cross comes to mind? An empty tomb? Maybe you imagine Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after He had risen. Though all of the aforementioned images are part of who Jesus is, none portray Jesus now. For after He had commissioned the disciples to go out into all the earth, He ascended into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is on His throne, and is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, where He is worshipped continually, and has reclaimed all power and authority that belong to Him. He holds all in His hands, and there is NOTHING that He cannot overcome. How we picture Jesus, impacts how we think He can move.

 

Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter six, verses one through nine, was given a glimpse of God seated on the throne. He became very aware of his own sinfulness, and as a result, asked for forgiveness. As he was forgiven, he was then commissioned to be the mouthpiece to a sinful people that surrounded him.

 

Today, we have access to both the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts are continually being drawn unto Him. It is up to us to accept all that He has done with a repentant heart, and then go forth as He calls. May we hold fast to the truth of who He is, and allow Him to update the image we hold in our heart.

 

When I close my eyes,Who Do You See

whom does my heart see?

An infant in hay,

looking up at me?

Or perhaps a boy,

seeking all that’s true;

a young man growing,

preparing for new?

Could it be the man,

who went out to touch;

He healed hurting hearts,

as He loved so much?

Is it the Savior,

hanging on the cross;

or the empty grave,

that dealt death its loss?

Do I see the One,

who walked through the wall;

showed His nail-scarred hands,

to answer a call?

What I ought to see,

is Christ on His throne;

all power is His,

and I’m called His own.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You, personally. Thank You Jesus, for dying, rising, and ascending to take Your rightful place. Thank You that as You are seated on Your throne, You intercede on our behalf. Thank You that Your ascension affirms all blessings and promises that were previously made, for You are good and faithful. Thank You that You sent Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and that You are preparing a place for us. Forgive us for our warped view of You, and help us to begin to picture You properly. Teach us to embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and help us to go forth in love, just as You have loved us. May many come to know You as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as they allow You to come rule and reign in their lives too. Be magnified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

 

 

 

 

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