Examples En Route

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. – (Psalm 37:37, NIV)

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. – (Psalm 37:37, NLT)

Keep your eyes on the innocent. Model your life after the blameless. Everyone who loves peace has a future. – (Psalm 37:37, VOICE)

 

So often, when we read the words blameless, upright, or innocent, the standard set before us seems unattainable. However, we must remember that when we have Christ in us, God views us through the lens of Jesus. He is blameless, upright and innocent. Honesty, goodness, and a love for peace become part of our character as we invest in our relationship with Christ. Most of us know people who model this lifestyle well. Honesty and goodness radiate from their very existence, and to be in their presence, is to understand a space of peace. Jesus is our ultimate model of such, and He places people in our lives to show us tangible evidence of the fruit that a heart after Him will bear. May we ever look to the examples set before us, and model our lives after He who was without sin. Let a love of peace propel us forward on the path to which we each have been called.

 

Look to examples,

img_2019-10-31_05-29-196685478210324451010.jpg

A tiny snapshot of those who have been examples of honesty, goodness and peace in my life.

Each placed in our lives;

To show us the way,

To love well and thrive.

Observe the upright,

Honest, innocent;

Their goodness and peace,

Show us God’s intent.

For as we pursue,

Lives lived out this way;

God makes His heart known,

As love is conveyed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us what a blameless and upright life look like, and the beauty found in the ultimate future of those who love and pursue peace. Forgive us for thinking that we have to somehow accomplish these things on our own, rather than seeking You and allowing You to transform our hearts and lives to more closely mirror Yours. Teach us to turn to You to show us what it means to be honest and good, and to love peace. Show us how to love those around us in a way that conveys honesty, goodness and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to the examples that You have set before us of those who lived and those who are now living, blameless and upright, ever seeking Your peace. Amen.

 

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

 

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. – Psalm 37:30

 

 

Ragnar Ready

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. – (James 5:11, NIV)

 

These past many months have been all about perseverance. In late April, I sustained a compression fracture in my low back during a Tactical Strength Competition in the first event of three. I did not realize that the pop I felt during my deadlift was so serious, so I completed the competition.

When I went to the doctor on that Monday, I was sent for x-rays immediately. Low and behold, I had broken a bit of my back. Lovely! Not exactly something that fits in my lifestyle, nor my training plan. There was a half-marathon in June, and then Ragnar (a 12-person, 200-mile relay) in July, that I needed to be healthy and strong to participate.

Fast-forward to June, and I became the proud owner of a pricey souvenir t-shirt for a race I was not yet ready to run. Though I have been on a modified training regime since my injury occurred, I simply was not yet ready to run 13.1 miles at once. Allowing that race to go, was my ticket to run Ragnar, and the July race was far more important to me.

Here I am, the day prior to Ragnar, and I am cleared by doctors to run the distance! I ran my first full long run on Monday, and felt good. I was able to complete the mileage equivalent to my longest leg, so I should be good to go. Nerves are certainly present, as is some soreness, but I trust that He will continue to carry me to the finish. Please feel free to pray for safety and health for all of the Ragnar runners as you feel inspired. It is a wonderful, crazy, adventure that I am so grateful to be a part of for the third year in a row!

 

Thousands of runners,

photo (9)

Load up in their vans;

Working together,

The best that we can.

Through heat and the rain,

Through the dark of night;

The runners keep on,

With vests and headlights.

When the sun blazes,

Dear friends, we’ll still run;

’til there is a break,

Van 2 to van 1.

But alas, that rest,

Is very short-lived;

Perhaps for a nap,

Then more grit to give.

Despite the struggle,

Always at the end;

With medals and joy,

“Let’s do this again!”

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and goodness. Thank You for healthy bodies that can run. Thank You for healing and wholeness and restoration. Forgive us for our frustrations with what we can’t do, and help us celebrate and appreciate what we can do. Teach us to be grateful for everything, as every step, every breath, is a gift. Show us how to honor You with all that we do, and help us to love others well in the process. May many be drawn into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor You in all that we do. 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

 

 

Speak Life

In Paul’s letter to Titus, he was providing instruction as to how to lead people to live right, according to Christ. Titus 3:2 is a timely reminder, in light of all that has been going on in the world around us. Despite differing opinions, God still reigns, and we have been given the following instructions: Tell them not to speak evil of anyone but to live in peace with others. They should be gentle and polite to everyone. – (Titus 3:2, ERV) Paul further unpacks the reminder that not one of us has earned our good standing before God. Rather, we were made right with God by His grace. God saved us so that we could be His children and look forward to receiving life that never ends. – (Titus 3:7, ERV)

 

It is by God’s grace that we have been saved. Our charge, as His children, is to love God and love people. We will not always agree with every decision or lifestyle that is chosen, yet that is not our charge. We are called to love. If we speak evil of those who know Him not, how will they ever have any desire to draw near? When we are gentle and kind, extending love and grace to others, just as it has been given unto us, it is then that people may see Christ in and through us. Yes, we are called to come alongside and help correct and redirect those within the church who are walking in blatant sin, but not those who know Him not. May we choose to live in peace with one another, extending gentleness and grace to everyone, so that all may come to know the lavish love of the Lord.

 

Speak not unkindly,Bloom Where We're Planted

and choose be at peace;

be gentle to all,

let grace be released.

For we were all made,

right before the Lord;

because of His grace,

in love, He affords.

Share well His kindness,

extend too, His love;

so all may soon know,

the gift from above.

Be humble to all,

slander not ever;

let His love light shine,

now and forever.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not called to judge, slander or speak evil of others, but rather You call us to love. Thank You that You grant us discernment to know what is right and wrong, so that we may lead our lives in obedience to You, personally. Forgive us for not being peaceable or considerate, or for speaking ill of anyone based on the choices that they have made – for we all have sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would choose to love without limits and allow You to work in the hearts of those around us. May many receive Your glorious gift of grace that You give freely, as they choose enter into an eternal relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we choose to live and love peaceably with kindness, offering Your love and grace to all. 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

To Run With A Race Plan

For me, running has been a parallel to my Christian walk. Some runners jump out of the gate with enthusiasm and train hard for a short season. Some burn out before they even attain their goal of reaching race day, while others arrive on race day, run, then are over it. Then there are those of us who recognize the need for consistency over time. Accountability and a buddy help too. When discipline and decision enter in, and training is turned into a lifestyle, running becomes a part of who you are, rather than something you once did.

 

Our faith walk is the same way. Some eagerly join Bible studies or participate in activities, yet until there is a commitment to make Christ a priority, time with Him will go by the wayside. When a choice is made to create the intentional time to be with Him, to spend time in His word and in prayer, it becomes a part of who we are, and our day will no longer feel complete without it.

 

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – (1 Corinthians 9:25)

 

The race we are running is a marathon, not a quick sprint. This race requires purpose and discipline. If we are to gain the crown that lasts forever, we must seek and follow the Lord’s race plan, rather than our own. His plan requires hard work, self-discipline and stamina. However, each of these things He will provide as we are dependent on Him. May we seek the Lord daily and depend on Him as we each run the race He has called us to run.

 

Let’s not grow weary,To Run With A Race Plan

in this race we run;

it takes a lifetime,

before it is done.

Training is needed,

to finish our race;

time spent with the Lord,

as we seek His face.

We seek not the crown,

that soon fades away;

but rather the one,

for heaven’s display.

Don’t go it alone,

instead, invest well;

united bodies,

together impel.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us not to a sprint, but to a lifelong race. Thank You that You do not just say “GO” and expect us to figure it all out as we go, but rather You have given us all that we need to run well with endurance, the race You are calling us to run. Thank You for Your word, Your Spirit, and the body of believers that surround us. Forgive us for trying to run ahead of You, or for falling behind, for fear of what lies ahead. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will run our race – that which You have called us to – individually. Lead us to love others well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they recognize just how faithful You are in each of our lives. Be glorified O God, as we run our race with endurance, trusting You and Your race plan for our every step of the way. 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

May We Love Much

A sinful woman, known publicly for the lifestyle she had been living, recognized her opportunity for escape from the life she’d lived, and by faith, pressed past a multitude of laws, both written and unwritten, committing a plethora of societal faux pas, as she entered a room of men to bow at the feet of Jesus.

The beauty in the story is that this woman, washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, and dried them with her hair.  She then proceeded to kiss His feet and pour expensive perfume upon them.  At the time, His host had neglected to offer a basin to wash Jesus’ feet upon His arrival, so His sandaled feet were likely full of filth.  That being said, dirt did not deter the woman from serving the Savior with what she had.  Her tears of repentance were cleansing indeed, for when His host questioned Jesus’ allowance of this indignity, He responded, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” – (Luke 7:47)  Jesus went on to tell the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” – (Luke 7:50)

Though we are saved by faith and not by acts, faith frequently requires action.  Often, we must move outside of what is comfortable and familiar, in order to fulfill that which He is calling us to do.  In order to grow and deepen our faith, movement is necessary.  If we are standing still, remaining stagnant – the world keeps moving forward, so it actually ends up being as if we were walking backward.  I want a faith that is growing and thriving, not just merely surviving.  When I invest my time, energy, talents, trust and entire life in Him and His purposes, I cannot help but grow.  The more I give Him room, the more space He has to utilize my life.

Stained by our sin,May We Love Much

each and every heart;

by faith, set free,

we’re granted fresh start.

Cleansed by the cross,

on Calvary’s hill;

He paid the price,

for our freedom fill.

By faith, receive,

that which is given;

mercy and grace,

love to start living.

Look at the scars,

for they bore our own;

embrace His life,

and truth shall be known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly forgive all that we ask, when we ask by faith, believing that You are who You say You are, and that You will do, all that You have promised.  Forgive us for thinking that our sins are too great, or for neglecting to love, in places where we should have moved forward in faith.  Help us to hear You clearly, and to act on all that You ask.  May we be ever moving forward in faith – learning and growing in Your love and grace.  May our lives be a light to all who have yet to see the reality of Who You are, and may many come to know Your saving grace in this season.  Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may we love much.  Amen.

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