Fresh Freedom Has Come

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV) 

When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, ERV) 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV) 

 

As we step into day one of this new year, there is promise of fresh starts and brand-new beginnings in all that is yet to come. A sense of hope and resolve rise when we recognize that we are free to begin again. I am not big on resolutions, but rather desire to continue to learn and grow in all that the Lord has for me. My personal life has been made new in a beautiful way that I could not have imagined only a few short years ago. He makes new all that we are willing to place in His hands, and grant Him reign. God does exceedingly more than we could hope or imagine, as we allow Him room to rule. May we all recognize the opportunity for fresh starts and restoration as we walk boldly into 2019, trusting that God will do amazing things as we place our hope and our lives in His mighty hands. 

 

For all who trust Christ,

dsc057742884782824220259332.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Fresh freedom has come; 

God makes all things new, 

By grace through His Son. 

The old things are gone, 

And we are made new; 

As we allow God, 

To reign and to move. 

As the sun shall rise, 

To start a new day; 

So too, we’re made new, 

As we walk His way. 

Let us choose to trust, 

Find hope in His Name; 

For new life has come, 

Let God on high reign. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are ever made new in You. Thank You that new life in You is not dependent on a day or a year, but rather on us allowing You to lead us and reign in our hearts. Thank You that new may begin each day, each moment, as we trust in You. Forgive us for our faltering faith, when new beginnings seem unobtainable. Help us to trust You, even when we cannot see hope, help or possible change in our circumstances. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates new life in You and offers the hope of the same for all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You reign and embrace each change, as You ever make us new. Amen.

 

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

 

You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to Him. – Ephesians 4:23-24 

The More We’re Created For

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. – (Psalm 90:17, NIV)

And let the Lord our God favor us and give us success. May He give us permanence to all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TLB)

Oh Lord our God, let Your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TPT)

 

Though the school year just ended, teacher brains never fully unplug nor shut off to bettering their craft. Yes, the summer is a season for us to rest, retreat and recharge, but it is also a time to prepare for the work we will begin again as the new year arrives far more quickly than one might think. This verse is one of hope and my prayer, as teachers teach not to cram facts and figures into the minds of young people, but rather with the hope of helping each child discover the “more” that they were created for.  The success and permanence in this difficult work is found in watching children blossom into adulthood with the confidence and tools to take them wherever they want to go. May the favor of the Lord rest upon us all and establish the work of our hands.

 

May the Lord’s favor, The More We Are Created For

Come rest upon us;

In all that we do,

To know His success.

In God, establish,

The work of our hands;

May we move forward,

And follow His plans.

Things done in God’s strength,

As He guides our way;

Have lasting impact,

Beyond just today.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us Your favor and establish the work of our hands as we seek You. Forgive us for attempting to navigate on our own, rather than trusting You to lead us and guide us to make a difference in all that we do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize and know Your nearness and favor upon us and follow wherever You lead. Show us how to love those around us in a tangible way that aids in the success of all that they are drawn to do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your favor and trust You to establish the work of our hands. Amen.

 

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

 

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

All Things Made New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)

When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new. – (2 Corinthians 5:17, ERV)

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone – and see – a new life has begun! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, VOICE)

 

The first day of the new year is great time to remember and recognize that we are made new in Christ. God is the God of fresh starts, and He is ever making us new as we seek and trust in Him. What better time to seek and listen for direction, as we begin the first page of what He will do in 2018? What are we holding in our hands to utilize for Him right now, and what are the dreams that He has given that are not yet? Our charge is to walk forward in what we’ve been given, love as we are loved by Him, and to be faithful to each new step we are shown along the way. May we take time to recognize all of the places in our hearts, minds and lives that the Lord has made new as we begin this brand-new year with eager anticipation for all that He has in store.

 

All things are made new, All Things Made New

New year, a fresh start;

To choose be faithful,

As God’s work of art.

Each with a purpose,

A plan God designed;

Let’s follow in faith,

Heart, body and mind.

Wherever we are,

And where we choose go;

If lived out in love,

The newness will grow.

Goodbye to the old,

Hello to the new;

Each step that we take,

Chance for love shine through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are made new in You. Thank You for the blessed reminder that all things are new in You, as we begin day one of a brand-new year. Forgive us for dwelling on the past, and teach us how to embrace what we are given now and the promises that lie ahead. Show us how to love well, all those around us, so that they would be encouraged to embrace all that is made new in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. Amen.

 

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

 

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

On the Eve of New

This is what the Lord says – He who made a way through the sea, a path through the waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – (Isaiah 43:16, 18-19, NIV)

The Lord is making roads through the sea. He is making a path for His people, and even through rough waters. The Lord says, “So don’t remember what happened in earlier times. Don’t think about what happened a long time ago, because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I will even make a road in the desert and rivers will flow through the dry land.” – (Isaiah 43:16, 18-19, ERV)

The Lord says – who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters… Don’t remember the prior things; don’t ponder ancient history. Look! I am doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness. – (Isaiah 43:16, 18-19, CEB)

 

I love that the Lord reminds us to not dwell on the past, and to look and see the new things that He is doing. Rather than calling 2018, change; it is a NEW year. God has new things in store for each of us. Change can be scary, yet there is excitement and anticipation with things that are new. Personally, 2018 holds much in store that is new, and I am eager to walk forward in faith into all that lies ahead. He is good, and I can trust Him in all things and at all times. New does not necessarily mean easy, but growth takes work – just as a seed has to stretch and push to break through the darkness to reach the nourishing light needed to grow further, we must do likewise. May we outstretch arms to heaven, and trust in all of the new that our Heavenly Father holds in His hands for each of us in the upcoming year.

 

On the eve of new, On the Eve of New

May we each embrace;

The hope that new holds,

In light of God’s grace.

For where there was once,

No possible way;

New things now spring up,

As we trust and pray.

Once raging waters,

Part with open road;

Set path before us,

Equipped to now go.

Eyes looking forward,

Trust filling each heart;

Blessings this new year,

Each day a fresh start.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make a way through what seems impossible. Thank You that You remind us not to dwell on what has been, but rather to see what You are doing now and anticipate the new that You bring. Forgive us for dwelling on the past or not opening our eyes to Your mighty hand at work all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace the new that You have in store for us, knowing that You are good. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them to see the new that You are doing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we anticipate and embrace all the new that You are bringing in the coming year. 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

Hope in the New

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, ERV)

 

Happy New Year! Though it is merely a calendar page turn, there is a sense of anticipation of that which is yet to come. With a new year, comes new hope, new challenges and new adventures. In Christ, we have new life. Each day begins anew. We need not wait for a new year or a new season, for God gives us a fresh start when we seek Him. May we look back with gratitude for all that the Lord has done, and look ahead, knowing that God has made all things new because we are in Him. Be blessed as the Lord leads in all things new.

 

When we are in Christ,hope-in-the-new

Our world becomes new;

The old life is gone,

And His word proves true.

No more are we stuck,

In our former ways;

We have been set free,

For all of our days.

So rise up today,

Begin this new year;

Confident in Christ,

Walk forward, He’s near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we belong to You, You make us new. Thank You that You give us new starts, new seasons, and new life in You. Thank You for the hope that rises up as we look forward to a new year. Forgive us for the fear that creeps in about that which is uncertain and unknown. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would place all things in Your hands, knowing that You are in control and that You are with us and will never leave us. Show us how to love people around us in a way that give them hope where they have none. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the new life that we have in You in this brand new year. 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

Glorify with the Gifts

On this first day of a brand new year, a world of possibilities awaits. God has not called us to live ordinary and mundane lives, hiding the gifts that He has granted each of us, but rather He has called us to rise up and walk with Him, into the extraordinary, as we operate in the gifts that He has given. When we go where He calls and do as He asks, lives are touched and dreams are made new. He moves when we are willing to step out in faith. The Lord’s faithfulness is not because we are somehow worthy, but because He, as God on high, is good. It seems fitting that we respond just as Mary did, as follows:

And Mary said: “My soul glorified the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His Name. – (Luke 1:46-49)

What we do now matters. Our children and our children’s children will be impacted by our faithfulness. If we model a life pursuing Christ, they will notice and seek to serve Him as well. Let us share of His faithfulness, for He has done great things for each of us, and is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

May we humbly seek,

IMG_0603 the will of the Lord;

in all faithfulness,

the gifts we’ll afford.

All He has given,

for us to return;

so others may come,

and of Christ they’ll learn.

Let our hearts rejoice,

in the Mighty One;

He’s mindful of us,

Spirit, Father, Son.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are mindful of us. Thank You that when we come to You, You receive us as we are, and transform our hearts and minds to be more like Yours. Thank You for the great things that You have done for us. Thank You that we have Your presence now and hope for all of eternity. Forgive us for not glorifying You, or rejoicing in You for who You are, regardless of our circumstances. Help us to remember that You never change. Teach us to trust You more, so that we have a proper perspective on whatever comes our way. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may understand the blessings that You provide as our God and Savior. May many come into a saving relationship with You in this brand new year. Be exalted O God, as we glorify You with the gifts You have granted each of us, and rejoice in who You are. Amen.

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

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

Direct My Footsteps

Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me. – (Psalm 119:133)

 

As I look forward to the coming new year, I anticipate what is yet to be. God, in His grace and wisdom, always has something new for us, if we are only willing to listen and learn. In order to hear Him, we must be listening. To obey, we must be willing to go where He asks. Both our hearing and obeying are hindered, if we are steeped in sin. May these words be both our prayer and our declaration, as we prepare to enter a brand new year. Direct our steps, O Lord, according to Your word; and let no sin rule over us.

 

We come to You, Lord,Direct My Footsteps

with our hearts prepared;

eager to listen,

to what You will share.

Direct our footsteps,

by Thy Holy Word;

let no sin ensnare,

so Your voice is heard.

May we more than hear,

too, also obey;

seeking You in prayer,

so we know Your way.

Lead us on Your path,

of love and what’s right;

may we honor You,

bring You joy; delight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You speak to us and guide us in the ways that we are meant to go. Direct our steps, O Lord, according to Your word. Keep us from being sucked into sin, and help us to ever depend on You. Forgive us for neglecting to listen to Your leading, or for continuing to give in to sin that You give us strength to withstand. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen and obey in all things and at all times. Lead us to love according to Your word, and may many come to know You as their Lord and Savior. Be glorified, O God, as we allow You to direct our steps and keep us from becoming stuck in sin. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

To Be Transformed

The power of God, present in us, is far greater than we often give credit.  If we allow Him access, and grant permission, He will change us from the inside out.

In the Message, Luke 3:16-17, it reads as follows: “But John intervened; ‘I’m baptizing you here in the river.  The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out.  He’s going to clean house – make a clean sweep of your lives.  He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false He’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
 
Not just at the start of a new year, but at the beginning of each brand new day, I want to grant God access to the hallways of my heart, so that He has room to order what belongs and what needs to go.  By His Spirit, I am being made brand new.  Though this is a lifelong process, each day that I grant access, I will be better able to reflect the radiance of my Redeemer than the day prior.  In order to love as He loves, which is what He calls us to do, there must be more of Him, and less of me.  Let each new day begin with my heart handing Him the keys and saying, “all that I am, is Yours.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Transformation,
a change from within;
by His Spirit,
we’re made new in Him.
Never pushy,
always He will wait;
we must ask Him,

photo-13

to come mediate.
He highlights good,
and cleanses the bad;
sets free from filth,
we didn’t know we had.
The more we ask,
the more He makes new;
so we reflect,
His radiant hue.
For all that’s good,
that comes out of us;
signs of His grace,
our loving Jesus.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came so that we might have life more abundant in You.  Thank You that when we invite You in, Your Spirit comes and dwells in us for all of our days, and shows us how to walk in light and life as You intend for us.  Forgive us for turning a deaf ear to Your still small voice, or for being so busy that we don’t take time to listen.  Help us to be intentional in our time with You, and teach us how to love others as You love us.  May many come to know the glorious grace that You offer, and enter into a lasting relationship with You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Watching in Wonder

My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition is attending our New Year’s Eve drop-in service.  It is not like a typical church service.  Rather, it is a time to reflect, anticipate, and allow Him to speak, while hearts are quiet and ready to listen.  The first thing to do upon entry, is grab an envelope, blank piece of paper and a pen.  Our charge is to write down our reflections about where we have been, and where we hope to go with God, in the coming year.  There is a bit more to it than that, but that is the gist.  Our pastoral staff then holds our self-addressed, sealed letters, and mails them back to us around Easter.  It is truly remarkable to be reminded again of what He has done, and to observe what has come of the new year, thus far.  After writing and sealing our note to self, we go forward to a pair that is prepared to pray for us.  They wait on Him, and share what the Lord places on their hearts.

As I read the first two chapters of Genesis this morning, what stood out to me, is that after each new thing that God created and called into being, it is followed by the sentence: “And God saw that it was good.”  God saw that every single thing that He formed and gave life and breath to, was good.  We are His created.  He sees us, and calls us good – not because of our behavior, but rather because we are His creation.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  The very same God who saw that all He had created was good, moves mountains and does the miraculous still today.  One of the words that was given to me last evening, was to “look for the miraculous; not necessarily even where I’ve been asking, but to watch for unexpected miracles.”  For me, this is a reminder to be full of hope and anticipation, for God is indeed, good.  The miraculous takes places all around us every day, but so often it goes unnoticed.  I want to embrace this new year with my head up, eyes open, and my heart ready to receive all that He has prepared for me.

With head held high,Watching in Wonder

eyes ready to see;

all that He has,

miracles for me.

Peace in places,

it’s rarely been found;

silent stillness,

to hear heaven’s sound.

What will await,

in this coming year?

Courage to fight,

in the face of fear?

I look ahead,

with heart open wide;

may I receive,

more of You inside.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and kind, and that You love us with an everlasting love.  Thank You that when we call on You, You answer, and that You have good things for Your created, whom You love.  Forgive us for being unaware of how mighty You are all around us, and may we be ever aware of the unexpected miracles that are taking place.  Help us to embrace Your goodness and grace, so that we may love others, as You love us.  May many come to know new life in You.  Let Your light shine bright through us, before all.  Amen.

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

Recognizing Radiance

image by Jennifer Jewell

image by Jennifer Jewell

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27

                                                                                                                                                            Each one of us has been intentionally hand-crafted by our Creator.  Though we are each unique in appearance, we all are a reflection of His image, prepared with a plan and a purpose; individual to the delicate details He has deliberately designed in each of us.  Our value is not determined by wisdom, nor appearance, nor wealth, but rather by the radiant reflection of our Redeemer that dwells within us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Resolutions can be good when they are inspired by God to help us best find balance, and care for His temple.  The challenge is often in finding that balance.  How can we best care for our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls as we stand at the start of this new year?  His plan will look different for each of us, as each of us are uniquely made, and at different ages and stages in our lives.  As we go forth in the exercising of each of these according to His plans, our focus perhaps should be: Are we honoring God as we go?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     In all that I say and do, I want to reflect our Redeemer, and be quick to recognize the reflection of Him and His handiwork in others.  My hope is that we see and celebrate the gifts that God has given for His glory in others, rather than one another’s shortcomings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You chose to create us in Your likeness.  Thank You that we are spiritual beings with an eternal destiny.  Thank You that You made the way for us, through Your Son, Jesus, to spend our eternity with You if we choose to believe and receive the redemption You freely offer.  Forgive us for being critical of our own image, as You have created us uniquely and intentionally, and see each of us as Your perfectly planned creations.  Teach us to tend Your temple well, so that we are honoring You with what we have been given.  Lead us to love like You and to accept and admonish Your reflection that radiates from others.  May many come to know You as Savior and King.  Amen.

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