Share and Share Alike

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. – (1 Timothy 6:18, NIV)

Tell those who are rich to do good – to be rich in good works. And tell them they should be happy to give and ready to share. – (1 Timothy 6:18, ERV)

Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. – (1 Timothy 6:18, TLB)

 

These words were written in Paul’s first letter to Timothy, as he encouraged and instructed his “son” in the faith, while he (Timothy) was traveling from town to town to meet with and encourage the churches. At the time, believers were under such severe persecution, that they had to help and depend on one another for survival. The churches that were thriving, despite horrendous persecution, were those that lived closely in community and cared for one another, sharing with each other, whatever God had given them. Though times have changed, the call to have a heart of generosity, has not. Whatever we have has been entrusted to us, so that we might love well. Part of loving well is a generous heart that is ready to share that which we have. Our sharing does not need to be all about money. In fact, our time, our love, our support, our energy, and our ongoing care invested, are the very things that lead to the good works God intended all along. Nothing we have should be held too tightly; for all is a gift. May we seek the Lord to show us best, how to be generous and share with others, according to His good and perfect will; at all times and in all circumstances.

As far as examples of living a life according to these principles, my mom is one of the best that I know. Her home has always been a welcoming oasis for family, friends and neighbors nearby, and to those traveling through. She loves and serves and gives with an enormous heart of love, and all who enter her presence, feel rich for keeping company with her. Currently, as she continues on the road to recovery, my sister, brother-in-love, and nephews, are following in her footsteps as they give of their time, talent and resources, to love, encourage and help care for mom well. I know it is a challenge for mom to not fulfill the role she is accustomed to keeping, but her perseverance and the love that surrounds her, is what she needs to get back to a space where she is able to resume her role. May prayers for total healing continue…

 

A generous heart, Ambassadors of Love

Is to what we’re called;

To give out of love,

The gifts God’s installed.

Wherever we’re rich,

Opportunity;

To share and to give,

Most generously.

Be it gifts of love,

Time, talent or things;

May we choose to share,

And honor our King.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the generous gifts that You give to us all – be it time, talent, resources, encouragement, or an incredible heart to love. Thank You that You call us to share with those around us. Forgive us for the times that we have believed the lie that we had nothing to give, or have chosen to ignore a need around us. Teach us to keep our eyes and hearts open, so that we would see needs and hear Your heart for what we have to offer. Show us how to love and share well with those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we share with others out of that which You have so generously given to us. Amen.

 

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

 

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. – Proverbs 22:9

The Path to Peace

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. – (Romans 14:19, NIV)

So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. – (Romans 14:19, ERV)

So then, make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another. – (Romans 14:19, TPT)

 

If we each were to make living a life of peace and harmony with one another our priority, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage each other, imagine the communities in which we would all live. The beautiful thing about this decision is that it begins with us, individually. When just one person makes an intentional choice to operate out of a space of love, their approach is contagious to all whom are touched by their life. Though I am one, I know that I will try even harder to live life accordingly. Life is precious, and not one of us knows the number of our days. Every single day matters, and bad moments do not need make for bad days. Yes, there are difficult seasons, as my present one has been one of the most challenging of my life so far, yet there has been joy in every day, and blessings that have unfolded before me. God is good, even in the trials, and our charge is to love and encourage those around us. As we take our eyes off of self and look outward, suddenly we are better able to see the beauty all around us. He knows, and His design and intention for us to live at peace, in harmony with each other, is how the world is meant to work best. May we ever seek Him to grant us the grace and strength to encourage and strengthen those around us, choosing peace and kindness over the desire to be “right”.

As for mom, yesterday was an extraordinarily busy day of visiting and “farewells for now”. The morning began with a visit from two dear friends from church, who helped begin her day with sweet encouragement as they shared life together. Shortly after they had gone, mom’s best friend June, arrived with lunch and gorgeous photos of her brand-new grandson to share. I know the time went far too quickly for mom’s liking, but she did show June her hall-walking and her new mastery of the front porch steps during her visit, as she was strengthened and encouraged in her presence. Then, a mere twenty minutes after June had gone, a terrific pair of mom’s neighbors arrived for a bon voyage visit. They came bearing snacks and gifts, and added to the encouragement for mom. By the close of our time together, mom was ready to relax and retreat a bit. Seated in the living room with her feet up, she simply smiled and soaked it all in as she half-watched a movie. We continued to work on items on her checklist to prepare for her time in Oregon, which I believe is bringing more peace in her heart about the impending move. Though she wishes she could remain in her own community with her friends, she knows that she needs to gain strength in order to return to independent living. My sister, brother-in-love, and nephews, are working tirelessly as well, to ensure that their home in Oregon will be a place of peace, encouragement and strengthening for mom.

May we ever seek our Savior to empower us to live at peace and in harmony with one another, granting us the grace to encourage and strengthen each other, so that all of us might be our best selves unto the world.

 

May we choose seek peace,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Live in harmony;

Prefer each other,

Exist lovingly.

Use encouragement,

Whenever we can;

Seek build others up,

For it is God’s plan.

In all things choose love,

It is the best way;

We’ve been created,

To give love away.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to a life of peace and harmony with one another. Thank You that You instruct us to encourage and strengthen each other. Thank You that You have the perfect design for how we ought to live. Forgive us for every time that we have chosen anything that strays away from Your design. Teach us to trust and rely on You to lead us to live a life of peace and harmony with each other. Show us how to love those around us in a way that strengthens and encourages all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to lead us in a life of peace that builds others up around us. Amen.

 

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

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Ask for Answers

Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)

Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known. – (Jeremiah 33:3, VOICE)

Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. – (Jeremiah 33:3, MSG)

 

I am not sure if it is the result of rest and a better night’s sleep, the reality of how short the time remaining in Wenatchee truly is, or if it is the enormity of my own gratitude for the safety and improving health of my loved ones. I know that is not everyone’s story, and I know that there are far too many grieving today in the wake of unnecessary tragedies across our nation. Though I know not the solution, God does. What I do know, is that we are called to love. Not just our family, friends and neighbors, but everyone. If we choose love, then perhaps we will recognize the hurt in others before it becomes too late. The call is daunting for sure, but if we choose kindness with one person at a time, it is far more manageable. Perhaps it is a matter of asking God to show us His heart for people. He sees and knows the heart. There is always a reason for words and actions that bring harm, and maybe, just maybe, the change we long to see in the world begins with us. In my own present circumstances, when I grow weary and frustrated, I ask God to show me what I need to know to be patient and kind. Usually, what comes the fastest, is the reminder of what it would be like for me if I suddenly lost my ability to do all of the things that I loved most, and had to rely on someone else for everything. The quick heart-check softens the edges of exhaustion quickly, and my love and resolve are renewed. May we continue to call on the Lord and ask Him for help, for He is faithful to show us what we need to know to navigate each day well.

As for mom, yesterday was a good day. Sleep wasn’t great, but we were able to rally anyway. After breakfast, showering, and some physical and occupational therapy exercises, mom determined that she was up for an outing. With a face-filling grin, my response was, “as you wish.” Driving along, following her directions, led us to the east side of town. A bit further along, she declared that she wanted to go to Macy’s. I was both pleased and shocked, as she has avoided stores, and really could use a few things that fit better. We ventured into the store and began looking around. She found a few things she liked downstairs, held them, and we took the elevator upstairs to search for an item or two more. The experience upstairs went well, and the fitting room had ample space for mom’s chair and the two of us so that she could actually try items on. Mom successfully found a few things that she really liked, and we headed to the checkout. It was such an encouragement to watch mom realize that she was okay getting out and participating in “normal” life again. From there, we of course went through Dutch Bros and then grabbed lunch at the Taco Time drive thru. All of the activity was a bit wearying, but mom did well and stayed up until bedtime. She did nod a little when we watched a movie in the afternoon, but had no desire to go lay down to rest. Hmmm… Wonder where I got that trait from?  Despite the hesitations and reservations about the unknowns that are yet to come for mom, I think the opportunity for her to part-take in and realize how much more she is able to do, are all part of what God is showing her to continue to prepare her heart for this next season.

May we ever seek the Lord, who is faithful to answer, to show us the things that we do not know or understand on our own.

 

O Lord God of love, fb_img_15572013665455142348901490916085.jpg

May we ever seek;

Your heart to show us,

Truth, when all seems bleak.

Out of the darkness,

Your love light can shine;

Transforming ashes,

To beauty, divine.

Show us the unknown,

The things we can’t grasp;

So we may love well,

Honor all You ask.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us the things that we do not know when we ask You. Thank You that You give us wisdom and insight so that we may love the way that we have been created to love. Forgive us for neglecting to seek You in the spaces where we lack understanding. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would always ask You for wisdom and guidance and insight. Above all, show us how to love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for understanding, as You already have the answers we need ask. Amen.

 

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

 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34

Faithfulness to the Skies

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. – (Psalm 36:5, NIV)

Lord, your faithful love reaches to the sky. Your faithfulness is as high as the clouds. – (Psalm 36:5, ERV)

Your steadfast love, O Lord, is as great as all the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. – (Psalm 36:5, TLB)

 

I love that every day is new, and each morning is a fresh reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness and love. It is particularly clear from my vantage point, as the view from mom’s kitchen table is spectacular. Each day as I rise before the sun, God’s handiwork greets me as He paints the sky new every morning. No two sunrises look the same. The cloud patterns and the colors shift and change, mix and blend, reminding me that He is creative and innovative, able to take on new challenges in new ways.

Last night, mom only woke one time during the night! For those who have been following our story daily, this means that both of us slept more last night, than we like did over the previous two nights combined. (Thank you for those of you who have been praying!) Furthermore, yesterday was full of things to be celebrated! During physical therapy in the morning, mom walked nearly half the length of her hallway with her walker, unassisted! Once she grew a bit fatigued, she rested for a moment or two, and then the physical therapist, Nick, had me assist/spot mom with her walking. It was exhilarating to participate directly with her, and gain the nod of approval to at last work with mom on our own on walking. Because we now have clearance to practice walking, we gave it another go in the evening as we were winding down. Mom is overjoyed and completely motivated, as she is ready to demonstrate her new-found confidence for my husband and boys when they arrive later this morning. The appointment with mom’s physiatrist went well, as she is the one who oversees and coordinates all post-stroke care. She was pleased with mom’s progress thus far, and will see her again in early August. We had a wonderful visit with mom’s next-door neighbors before dinner, and made the most of our evening, prior to calling it a night fairly early, after our previous two nights of not nearly enough sleep. Mom and I shared an early breakfast to watch the sunrise (photo below), and appreciated God’s handiwork together. Each of us sat in awe, as we gazed upon His glory in gratitude. May we ever remember the faithfulness and goodness of God, and just how far-reaching His love is for us all.

 

The Lord is faithful,img_2019-06-29_05-55-33225047676974216251.jpg

Beyond what we see;

His grace unending,

He loves tangibly.

Be it a sunrise,

At the break of day;

Or loving guidance,

As He points the way.

No matter what comes,

The Lord, He is near;

He will remain close,

Help us persevere.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and kind and loving. Thank You that Your faithfulness never ends. Thank You for sleep and restoration when we need it the most. Forgive us for our frustration when we cannot do anything to control our circumstances. Continue to teach us to hand all to You. Show us how to love well all those around us, as You empower us to walk faithfully and lovingly alongside them, encouraging and building up as they move forward. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for Your steadfast love and faithfulness that reaches to the heavens and is painted across the sky each morning. Amen.

 

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

 

Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. – John 1:16

Do Right and Build Up

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. – (Romans 15:2, NIV)

(We should not do what pleases us) but do what pleases them and is for their good. We should do whatever helps everyone grow stronger in faith. – (Romans 15:2, ERV)

We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. – (Romans 15:2, NLT)

Our goal must be to empower others to do what is right and good for them, and to bring them into spiritual maturity. – (Romans 15:2, TPT)

A sweet colleague and friend whom I appreciate and admire, who also happens to be a fellow blogger, published a post yesterday that leads me to the application of the verse that my heart landed upon this morning. The gist of her post, though I am not doing it justice, was that despite the struggles, challenges and obstacles that we are facing daily, her heart, with hope, is to have no bad days. One way that we can contribute to the betterment of the days of others is to look for ways to build them up and to empower them. How can we do things that increase the faith of those around us? If we can find good in each day and extend encouragement to others, we not only grow the faith in others, but in ourselves as well. May we seek to do what is right and pleasing so that others may be built up and press on, even on the hardest days.

Help us look for good,

Ways to choose build up;

To please our neighbors,
Do Right and Build Up

In faith, fill their cup.

As we do what’s right,

And opt extend grace;

Empowered rise up,

As they find fresh faith.

Let’s not grow weary,

In choosing what’s right;

Help and love others,

Let’s fight the good fight.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to do what is good and pleasing for others to help them grow and be built up in faith. Thank You that as we choose to focus on others, You fill and refresh us in the process. Forgive us for somehow thinking that we have nothing to offer in our own space of weariness. Teach us to trust You more, as You fill us and build us up, providing all that we need and more. Show us how to love well the people who You have placed around us, so that we would do what is right and pleasing to build them up and help grow their faith. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for bringing good unto us when we are depleted, and for growing our faith in You so that we may in turn do the same for those around us. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Take Hold of Instruction

Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. – (Proverbs 4:13, NLT)

Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. – (Proverbs 4:13, AMP)

 

When God instructs us in the ways we are meant to go, we ought to cling tightly to what we have been told, and do our best to obey. His plans and ways lead to light and life, whereas on our own, we tend to run amuck. This can become a grey area for people, as there are the basics that we shall and shall not do as followers of Christ, yet there are other things that are fine for some, yet not a good idea for others. It is in these spaces that it is essential for us to seek the Lord and ask His will for us, individually. Whatever He tells us personally, is what we are meant to do. He does not always ask the same things of us as that of our friends and neighbors. We all have different strengths and challenges, and He knows our need far better than we do. This is the very reason we are meant to seek the Lord and His instruction. His way is best and when we take hold of it and walk it out, His will unfolds before us. May we each seek the Lord and His instruction, and take hold of whatever He asks and guard it for all of our days.

 

Go forth unto God,The Direction of Discipline

And seek all His ways;

Hold His instruction,

For all of our days.

As we choose to seek,

He gladly will show;

What we’re meant to do,

And where we should go.

Guard well the Lord’s words,

For in them is light;

They show us the way,

To do what is right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You instruct us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that You remind us to guard well the words that You speak to us, as they are the key to life. Forgive us for neglecting to obey the things that You say, or for not asking when we are uncertain about what we ought to do. Teach us to trust You and Your direction in all things and at all times, as Your way is always the way that is right. Show us how to love well all those whom we encounter, so that they might turn to seek Your instruction as well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we actively seek and take hold of Your instruction, and guard it with all that we are as we forge forward to faithfully follow all that You ask of us. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Speak Truth in Trust

No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. He is the head, and the whole body depends on Him. All parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and be stronger in love. – (Ephesians 4:15-16, ERV)

God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love – like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the Source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. – (Ephesians 4:15-16, MSG)

 

In order to speak the truth in love, we must be invested in our relationship with Christ. When we know Him, we know His voice, and are equipped to hear His heart for us and those around us. As we invest in community that chooses to do likewise, we draw from one another’s strengths, and grow stronger into who He is calling us to be. The more we are like the Lord, the greater our capacity for loving those around us. May we invest in our relationships with God and the community to which we are called, so that we grow ever stronger in life and in love.

 

We must choose to speak,ç€À

The whole truth in love;

It is how we grow,

Trust in God above.

For He is the head,

On Whom we depend;

All parts joined as one,

Neighbors become friends.

This work together,

Causes us to grow;

Still stronger in love,

Making the truth known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You reveal Your truth to us by Your love as we intentionally seek You. Thank You that You equip us and grow us stronger in our capacity to love and work together as we depend on You. Forgive us for not seeking You, or for failing to speak truth in love, when we have the words and the opportunity. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rise up in strength and courage to do whatever part You are calling us to do. Show us how to love those around us in the same way that You so gently, yet relentlessly, love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we speak the truth in love as You call us to do. Amen.

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

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

Speak Truth from the Heart

As part of being called to love, we must speak life to those around us. To speak life is to speak the truth from the heart, and to love and honor God in the process. When we neglect to speak encouraging words, and instead speak death or demise, we tear down rather than build up those whom Christ has created in His very own image.

Only those who live pure lives, do what is right and speak the truth from their hearts. Such people don’t say bad things about others. They don’t do things to hurt their neighbors. They don’t tell shameful things about those close to them. – (Psalm 15:2-3, ERV)

Let us choose to speak,Speak Truth from the Heart

encouraging words;

so all who are near,

may embrace what’s heard.

Invest in the Lord,

so we may live pure;

do right and speak truth,

offer truth to hear.

Speak not of the bad,

that dwells in others;

do nothing to harm,

sisters or brothers.

Speak not of the shame,

their actions impart;

for the Lord forgives,

and grants a new start.

Rather choose build up,

and point to the Lord;

His love is enough,

it’s freely outpoured.

Our words have power, and can have an impact for far longer than we know. For the child who hears nothing but negativity at home, and then hears encouraging words at school from a teacher or a staff member, their life course could be forever altered, simply because someone took the time to speak the truth in love into their life. Sadly, the opposite holds true as well. If our words are spoken carelessly and without love, the damage can be far deeper and longer lasting than we could ever imagine. In Christ, we have the power to choose to invest our lives in Him, so that we might live lives that are pure, and do what is right; speaking the truth from our hearts. As we do, people are encouraged and changed, and we cannot help but no longer stay the same either.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have the power to speak truth in love, and encourage and build up those who are around us.  Thank You that You equip and empower us to do so, when we invest our hearts and lives in You.  Forgive us for the missed opportunities that we have had, because we were too wrapped up in our own “stuff” to see the need around us.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have an outward focus, fixing our eyes on You, and those whom You place on our path to love as You love us.  Lead us to love like You.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we speak Your truth from the hearts that You have made new within us.  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

Called to Love

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf we long to follow,

the greatest command;

it is all about love,

for God and for man.

We are called to love God,

with heart, strength and soul;

and love well our neighbors,

our worship made whole.

This love is not showy,

it is kind; sincere;

all glory points to Christ,

His presence so near.

May our every action,

line up with belief;

even when no one sees,

let love bring relief.

To live our lives for Christ,

an eternal gain;

those who deny the truth,

suffer senseless pain.

So let us rise up, church,

be people who love;

may the difference they see,

reflect God above.

(Responding to Mark 12:29-31, 38-40)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us. Thank You that You created us to give and receive love. Thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to model how we might love with all of our heart, soul and strength; and how to love our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us for not loving as You love. Remove any wrong motive in us, and help us to love with pure hearts, expecting nothing in return. Teach us to rely on You for our filling, as You alone can satisfy the empty spaces within us. Lead us to love well, even when no one sees. Thank You that the only opinion of us that matters, is Yours. Thank You that You already love us beyond what we can fathom, just as we are, yet love us enough that You are willing to walk beside us in all things, so that we may more clearly be reflections of You. May many come to know Your saving grace through our obedient outpouring of Your love. Amen.

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

We truly are made to love. Enjoy Made To Love, by Toby Mac. (Click the title in green.)

Life Lived in Love

Life Lived in LoveInheritance found,

for Christ is the way;

to love well, people,

through strength in Him stay.

Only by His grace,

can we love so well;

with heart, voice and hands,

our story to tell.

Love too, our neighbors,

all people we meet;

provide hope and help,

to all those in need.

Ask for His wisdom,

pray too, for His grace;

spiritual filling,

equipped for this race.

In order to win,

we must find the start;

that teaches to love,

with all of our heart.

As we rest in Him,

He’ll show us the way;

to love and to serve,

and order our day.

Let us do what’s asked,

may all people know;

that through Christ alone,

is where hope does grow.

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’, and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Luke 10:27)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are no longer bound by the burden of the old laws, which required rituals and sacrifice to come close to You. Thank You that through the sending of Your Son, You have come close to us, and both ask and equip us to love You and love one another with our whole heart, when we place our trust in You. Forgive us for not loving completely, as we often over look the needs of our neighbors and get caught up in the chaos of life. Lead us and guide us, so that we might know how we are to help and make You our priority. Teach us to trust and to listen well, so we may honor You in all that we say and do. Let our motivation for movement be empowered and equipped by You, and our every word and deed, be done in love. May many come to know You through our hearts and hands, as we move in obedience and operate in Your love. Amen.

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