The Endowment of Early Mornings

Every morning, Lord, I lay my gifts before You and look to You for help. And every morning You hear my prayers. – (Psalm 5:3, ERV)

Lord, in the morning You hear my voice. In the morning I lay it all out before You. Then I wait expectantly. – (Psalm 5:3, CEB)

In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. – (Psalm 5:3, VOICE)

 

Being up in the early hours to usher in the first morning’s light reminds me of the greatness of God and kicks off my day in awe and appreciation of all that lies ahead. We are called to present our requests before God, and He wants all that we are in exchange for all that He is and all that He desires to do in and through us. God sees and He hears everything that we freely offer unto Him. In doing so, we ought to wait in anticipation of all that He will do. The Lord is faithful to meet us each morning and will move mightily in and through us as we present all unto Him. May we rise each morning and lay our gifts – our prayers, our hearts and our offerings to the Lord and trust that He will see and hear and move on our behalf.

 

Early each morning, The Endowment of Early Mornings

I choose wake and rise;

To draw near to God,

His grace realized.

For each day I come,

And bring Him my best;

He grants me His strength,

And extends His rest.

I cannot but help,

Of Him stand in awe;

For He is faithful,

As near Him I draw.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to meet us each morning as we rise and present our all unto You. Thank You that You see and hear and move on our behalf. Thank You that we can wait expectantly, assured that You will answer in Your faithfulness. Forgive us for doubting when answers take longer than we would anticipate. Teach us to trust You and Your timing, for Your timing is perfect. Show us how to love those around us in a way that gives ear to every word spoken, so that they may gain a glimpse of how You listen to each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise each morning and present our all unto You, anticipating the wonderful ways that You move on our behalf. Amen.

 

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

 

Great is His faithfulness; His loving-kindness begins afresh each day. – Lamentations 3:23

 

 

 

To Honor the Dream

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)

Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, ERV)

You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, AMP)

 

Historically, there have been many groups of people that have had reason to hold a grudge for the wrongs done against them, yet for change to occur, the right to revenge had to be released, and love had to prevail. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a phenomenal example of choosing love, despite his circumstances. Dr. King found ways to bring truth in love, and fight for change through peace. Hate was not his motivation, but rather a heart of love. As a husband, father, minister, leader and spokesperson for civil rights, he let his faith shape the way in which he lived and loved. His words, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear”, still remind us of the way in which we ought to choose to live. Be it an acquaintance, an associate, or a companion, may we choose to stick with love; for it is the very way in which we are called to live.

 

The only true way, mlk

To find peace at last;

Is to stick with love,

Let go of the past.

When we choose forgive,

Our hearts are set free;

The burden of hate,

Is far too heavy.

May we stick with love,

And choose to redeem;

Value all people,

And honor the dream.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have chosen to rise up and stick with love, despite the barriers and difficulties that have stood before them. Thank You that when we choose love, You move mightily among us. Forgive us for the times that we have held grudges rather than chosen love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would stick with love, and not allow the weight of hate to destroy that which You intend for good. Show us how to love every acquaintance, associate and companion as You would have us love ourselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. May your peace prevail, and love win where hate has tried to reign. Be glorified O God, as we choose love again and again, knowing that You will use every decision of love to bring the dream to further fulfillment. 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

The Power and Precision of the Word

For the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – (Hebrews 4:12, NIV)

God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and bones, it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. – (Hebrews 4:12, ERV)

The word of God, you see, is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joint and marrow; able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart. – (Hebrews 4:12, VOICE)

 

God’s word is compared to the sharpest of tools because when we are invested in studying it, He will use His word with great precision to help correct and direct our lives. As we allow His word to penetrate the hidden spaces of our soul, He will show us what should stay, and that which needs to be cut away. Often there are thoughts and attitudes that creep in and need His care, so that we can continue to love according to His calling. May we ever invest our time in God’s word, so that He may move mightily both in and through our lives.

 

Alive and active,Write Upon My Heart

Correct and lead well;

The word of the Lord,

Has purpose to tell.

With great precision,

The word separates;

Attitudes of heart,

Not good, and the great.

He shows us His heart,

The good we’re to do;

Then grants us the strength,

To follow what’s true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word. Thank You that it is alive and active and that it words with precision in our hearts and lives to show us what is good and what needs to go. Forgive us for not pursuing You and all that You have for us, or for neglecting to listen to Your leading. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would allow You access to all. Separate what is good from that which needs to go, so that we may better walk in the light of Your love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that leads them to pursue Your heart for the hope that they see in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest our time and hearts in Your word and allow You access to every part of our hearts and lives so that we may ever be refined to better reflect You. Amen.

 

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

 

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Persistent Pursuit

“What do you want Me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” – (Luke 18:41-42, NLT)

 

“What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, I want to see again.” Jesus said to him, “You can see now. You are healed because you believed.” – (Luke 18:41-42, ERV)

 

Jesus: What do you want Me to do for you?

Blind Man: Lord, let me receive my sight.

Jesus: Receive your sight; your faith has made you well. – (Luke 18:41-42, VOICE)

 

I so appreciate this story about the blind beggar and his exchange with Jesus that led to his healing. The blind man could have sat in silence and kept to himself, yet, he had heard word of this man, Jesus, who had healed others. Somehow, in the depth of his heart, the blind man realized that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Hope gave him strength of heart and voice to keep calling out to Jesus from the side of the road, despite the disciples and passersby attempt to keep him quiet. When Jesus saw the persistence of the blind man, He stopped and gave him His undivided attention. In a brief, but intentional exchange, Jesus asked the man what he wanted, and healed him because he had believed. Imagine if we called out to Jesus in the same way… May we go to God without hesitation, trusting that He has the power to do insurmountably more than we could ever hope or imagine as we surrender ourselves and our need to Him.

 

When we go to God, How Impossible Becomes Possible

And choose to believe;

He moves mightily,

As grace is received.

For if we ask not,

How can we receive?

It is by our faith,

We learn to believe.

All that is required,

Is but a small seed;

For hope to grow faith,

God grants what we need.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our cries for Your help, and You are ready to meet our needs. Thank You that all that is required of us is faithful pursuit of You. Forgive us for allowing what we see or think we know about our circumstances or those around us to get in the way of our asking in faith. Teach us to trust You more, as You are far greater than anything that we face. Show us how to love those around us in a way that grants hope and strength, so that they too see the hope that is held in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we persistently pursue You with unflappable faith. Amen.

 

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

 

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Ceasing Seclusion

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. – (Luke 8:38-39)

 

In this portion of the eighth chapter of Luke, the account of Jesus sending the demons out of a man into a herd of pigs is being retold. The man had been demon-possessed for many years, not living in a house, nor wearing clothes. He had lived in the tombs in his broken chains, stuck in solitude. When Jesus came along, life as he had known it, forever changed. Jesus restored his right mind and gave him his dignity back. As the demons fled, the man recognized the power and goodness of God, and begged to go with Jesus. However, God had a different plan for the man. This man would be an extraordinary witness to God’s power in his own hometown, as all had seen and known of the man’s previous state. Seeing the man clothed and in his right mind, would be a story that only he could share to help open doors in the hearts of the people in his hometown, so they might hear all that God had to offer. When Jesus asked him to stay, despite his likely disappointment, he obeyed.

 

God has done much for us as well. Are we willing to go where He calls? For some, He may ask us to go, yet for others, we may be asked to stay. Wherever we are, we have a story to share. We all have moments where we can recall when Christ came near, and our hearts were forever changed. What is your story that you will share for His glory? May we go forth wherever You call, and share all that You ask.

 

May we pass on,Peace He Brings

all that God has done;

make known His heart,

most glorious One.

He takes our mess,

however we come;

washes us clean,

in light of the Son.

The heart of stone,

we once had before;

He makes tender,

as He loves us more.

By His great grace,

we too, may give love;

He fills us up,

with more than enough.

Let us go forth,

wherever He calls;

love as He loves,

beyond our own walls.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do the miraculous in us, so that we can move mightily in Your strength. Thank You that You call us to tell of what You have done, be it near or far. Thank You that we each have a story to tell. Forgive us for our fearfulness and doubt, and help us to discover the power that You have placed in our voice when we are faithful to speak on Your behalf. Teach us to trust You more, and lead us to love well, all whom You have placed on our path. Let the lost be found, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we go where You call and do as You ask. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

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