Shared Strength in the Struggle

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, NLT)

Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, ERV)

Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. – (Galatians 6:2, TPT)

 

Yesterday was just one of those days. From my own children fighting on the way to school and work, to students struggling behaviorally all day long, by the time the bell rang to signify the close of the school day, I was exhausted. A few colleagues extended kind and encouraging words as I sought solutions to make preparations to alleviate the difficulties that I could control within my own classroom. Upon returning home, I was greeted by listening ears, that were supportive and solution-oriented. The boys all had work or activities to occupy their evening, so a bonus date night was bestowed upon me. Treasured time to relax and connect were exactly what my heart needed most, and the burden that had weighed so heavily upon me at the end of my school day, had now been lifted and replaced with fresh resolve. Love, help and support make a world of difference to the bearer of burdens, and doing such, is walking in obedience to Christ. May we ever extend help or a listening ear to those who are struggling, for doing so lightens the load and is an act of loving obedience, according to God’s good and perfect will.

 

May we choose to walk,10221815182971527373307308191.jpg

With eyes open wide;

Aware of struggles,

And come alongside.

Draw near to hurting,

Burdened or in need;

Help carry the weight,

Let the Lord’s love lead.

For as we draw near,

To help each other;

Burdens become light,

And grace discovered.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not meant to carry burdens nor struggle alone. Thank You for the people whom You place in our lives that come along side us, and those whom we are meant to walk beside. Forgive us for not reaching out to those we see in the struggle, or for pretending all is well when it is not. Teach us to trust You more, as You are greater than any difficulty we face, and You never leave us nor forsake us. Show us how to love, support and encourage those around us in a way that lightens the load they are bearing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we both reach out to give and readily receive Your mercy that is new every morning. Amen.

 

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

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. – Psalm 68:19

 

 

True Source of Strength

I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, NIV)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. – (Psalm 121:1-2, MSG)

I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, TPT)

 

The beauty and majesty found in creation are tangible reminders of the power and goodness of God. Even as a small child, I remember seeing the first star of the evening and beginning with a wish that would soon transform into a prayer to the very One who hung the stars in the sky. That same heart is still reminded of God’s grace and strength at the sight of the work of His hands. Today is a day that many of us will never forget. I still remember my drive to work as the news came over the radio that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. Upon arrival, I, with so many others, turned on the TV in my classroom to watch in horror as the footage of the horrific events unfolded. The images will forever be etched in my mind. As I drove home that day, I took in the view of the mountain, and was reminded that the same God who made majestic mountains, could bring beauty from the ashes of so much destruction. Though we may never understand why such tragedies occur this side of heaven, the stories of redemption and beauty and overcoming have risen from the ashes. People who were touched by the tragedy, hold their loved ones a little tighter and do not take a single day for granted. Spouses, siblings and children of those who were lost, have gone on to accomplish great things in honor of their loved ones. May we ever look to the Lord, our Creator, to be our help, as He is the true source of strength.

 

No matter what comes,9-11-memorial-03-marley-white__large.jpg

We must realize;

That God is the One,

Who gives strength to rise.

Rise from the ashes,

When all seemed but lost;

Rise from the rubble,

For He paid the cost.

No matter the darkness,

The Lord is the light;

His love and His grace,

Set wrong things to right.

O Lord, be our strength,

When trials come near;

Grant courage to rise,

In the face of fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created so much beauty that reminds us of Your goodness and strength. Thank You that often, as we see the work of Your hands, our gaze is lifted to You. Forgive us for not looking to You to be the light in every darkness, or for celebrating creation rather than the Creator. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You to be our help, and praise You in all things and at all times, as You alone are our strength and supply. Show us how to love those around us in a way that brings light and life, goodness and grace into spaces where there is none. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize where we find help that lasts. Amen.

 

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

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6

Hope and Patience in Prayer

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – (Romans 12:12, NIV)

Be happy because of the hope you have. Be patient when you have troubles. Pray all the time. – (Romans 12:12, ERV)

Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times. – (Romans 12:12, TPT)

 

These three things are not in isolation of one another, but rather they are an ongoing, interwoven team that work together for the good of all who choose to participate. As we are faithful to pray, we find patience in our affliction and discover joy in the hope that we know, regardless of our circumstances. Just yesterday, I both witnessed this in the lives of two friends as they worked out a misunderstanding that I am certain both had approached prayerfully, and in my own life as a burden was lifted that was a specific answer to prayer. Both situations reminded me of the joy that is found when we continue to hold hope in Him. May we ever choose to be joyful in the hope we have, be patient in the troubles that lie before us, and remember to be prayerful, always.

 

In hope there is joy, Hope Makes All the Difference

Despite what we see;

For this is where God,

Points to what shall be.

As we are faithful,

To trust and to pray;

He grants us patience,

In all of our ways.

There is no trouble,

He can’t overcome;

So seek Him and hope,

Trust His will be done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can have joy despite our circumstances because of the hope that we have in You. Thank You that as we come to You in prayer, You meet us and grant us patience and perseverance to press on when things are difficult. Forgive us for attempting to navigate trials on our own rather than turning to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in all things and at all times, as our hope, patience, strength and joy all are gifts granted by You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers hope in times of trouble and extend joy, always. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are faithful to pray at all times, choosing joy in the hope we have in You. 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

Hope Overflowing

I pray that God, the Source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, NLT)

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in Him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, ERV)

 

Though this is my prayer for all, it is lifted intentionally for my pastors and their family today, as this will be their final Sunday serving our church family. They are leaving to answer a calling that is clear only in the where, but not particularly certain as to what it will entail. Their hearts to serve and obey have been transparent and exemplars of true servant leaders, as they have been raw and real about the struggle to walk out this new path, as their hearts are so securely planted here. Sorrow, anticipation and uncertainty surround this transition for all. Not one of us is sure of what the “new” will look like, but we all have the assurance that God has not orchestrated this by accident. We have the hope that He has good things in store for each of us, and in Him, we can find joy and peace as we choose trust, despite our despair over our losses. May the God of all hope fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in Him, and may you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

In uncertainty,hope-overflowing

The sweet Prince of Peace;

Fills us with His hope,

And joy He’ll release.

As we trust in Him,

Confidence shall rise;

And hope overflows,

His Spirit supplies.

Let us place our trust,

Where all grace is found;

And boldly go forth,

As His hope abounds.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we trust You, You fill us with Your joy and peace, and provide hope in abundance so that it will flow from us by Your Spirit. Thank You for the gift that You have given me and so many through Pastors Jon and Wendy and their family. Please fill them completely with Your joy and peace because they trust in You. May they overflow with confident hope by Your Spirit to all whom they encounter in their new community. Bless them as they are such a blessing to others. Forgive us for not trusting You enough. Teach us to trust as You alone are trustworthy. Fill us with Your joy and peace so that we may pass the same on to those around us. Show us how to love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You completely, and in turn overflow with the confident hope that we receive by the power of Your Holy Spirit. 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

Why We Wait

“I waited patiently for the Lord; Why We Wait

He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

He set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear

and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man

who makes the Lord his trust,

who does not look to the proud,

to those who turn aside to false gods.”

– (Psalm 40:1-4)

Waiting is never fun nor easy, however, it often is a season that God uses to grow greater, the depth of our dependence on Him.  In Psalm 40, verses one through four, David is speaking of the benefits that he has found in waiting on the Lord.

First, God lifted him out of his space of despair.  He could not accomplish this on his own, rather it happened only after he had called on the Lord and cried out for His help.

Next, the Lord set his feet upon a rock and gave him a firm place to stand.  God took David’s space of instability, and created a firm foundation that would not be moved.  Again, such solutions are not man-made, but rather received through our Redeemer.

Finally, David says that “He put a new song in my mouth”.  Where sorrow had once dwelled, songs of praise were now rising up.  God alone can turn our mourning into dancing, and our sorrow into joy.  As we place our trust in Him alone, He is our Refuge and our Redeemer, and well worth the wait.

Wait on the Lord,Why We Wait 2

for He hears our cries;

trust that He’s good,

allow faith to rise.

Despite despair,

our troubles or strife;

He can rescue,

grant hope and new life.

Unsteady ground,

He’ll make firm to stand;

He’s rock solid,

our life’s in His hands.

Where sorrow dwells,

new songs will rise up;

as we trust Him,

He will fill our cup.

Look nowhere else,

trust in Him alone;

give God the reigns,

our Foundation Stone.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we wait on You, You hear our cries, and You further develop our character and grow us closer to You.  Thank You that Your timing is not our timing, and that Your ways are far higher than our ways.  Forgive us for our impatience or for seeking solutions anywhere other than from You.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may understand, even in the mire, You are moving mightily.  Lead us to love as You love us, and help us to sing out the songs that rise up.  May our life be lived as a song of praise unto You, and may many come to know who You are, and place too, their trust in You.  Be glorified through how we live out our days.  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

This is Amazing Grace

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,This is Amazing Grace

the world, and all who live in it;

for He founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?

Who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

who does not lift up his soul to an idol

or swear by what is false.

He will receive blessing from the Lord

and vindication from God his Savior.

Such is the generation of those who seek Him,

who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

be lifted up, you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord is strong and mighty,

the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

lift them up, you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is He, this King of glory?

The Lord Almighty –

He is the King of glory.”

– (Psalm 24)

Some days, the process of selecting just one verse or a small passage of scripture, seems to come easily.  However, today, my heart seemed to hold onto the entire Psalm.  As I read and reread this passage, wondering what I was meant to take away for today, a song that we sing in church, kept going through my mind.  After a few minutes of a rather frustrating search on Youtube, I remembered enough of the lyrics to come up with the actual title and a link.  (This is Amazing Grace, by Phil Wickham)  The following are the lyrics to This Is Amazing Grace:

Who breaks the power of sin and darknessThis is Amazing Grace 2

Whose love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace

This is unfailing love

That You would take my place

That You would bear my cross

You would lay down Your life

That I would be set free

Jesus, I sing for

All that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order

Who makes the orphan a son and daughter

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who rules the nations with truth and justice

Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Amazing grace,This is Amazing Grace 3

unfailing love;

He took our place,

the Lord above.

No greater gift,

we’ll ever know;

our praise to lift,

each heart aglow.

Let on this day,

declared for love;

our life point way,

to God above.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is unfailing, and Your grace – amazing.  Thank You that You created such beauty in the world around us, and provided the way for all who come to You, to dwell with You forever.  Forgive us for not giving proper praise where all praise unto You, is due.  Help us to recognize the magnitude of Your glory, so that we might live accordingly.  Teach us to trust You completely, and to love as we are loved by You.  May we reach out and care for the lost and the lonely, as You so tenderly care for us.  May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we walk in obedience unto You.  Let all that we say and do, bring glory and honor unto You.  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