Our Story, His Glory

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. – (Philippians 1:29, NLT)

God has blessed you in ways that serve Christ. He allowed you to believe in Christ. But that is not all. He has also given you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both of these bring glory to Christ. – (Philippians 1:29, ERV)

 

At first read, this verse does not seem all that encouraging. Who wants to suffer? And suffering as an honor? Eesh… However, the more I think about it, the more I can see present day application in our area. Currently, in the U.S., there are few examples of people suffering for their faith. That being said, there are those who are in the midst of trials and tragedies that cling closely to Christ. The way in which they hold fast to their faith is a witness to all who know their story. I know I stand in awe when I hear stories of Christians who stand their ground in countries where people are persecuted for their faith. Additionally, I am amazed by the resilience and perseverance of people in the midst of personal pain who cling to Christ with all that they have. When we go through trials of any kind and choose to trust in the Lord, and allow our faith to flavor everything we do, people cannot help but notice and wonder why. God uses our circumstances to draw others unto Himself. It is in the throes of trials that we discover how great God is, and the hope we have in Him. As we come to grasp with certainty the hope we hold, others cannot help but desire what we have. May we recognize the privilege we have to walk out our lives in faith, and trust Christ in all things so that we might bring glory unto Him.

 

We have been given,Being Made New

Privilege in Christ;

In times of blessing,

And when it’s not nice.

For how we choose trust,

In good and in pain;

Will show to the world,

The hope in His Name.

So let us hold fast,

And give God glory;

As we choose to trust,

Him for our story.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have the privilege to trust You in all things. Thank You for the blessings that You bestow upon us. Thank You for Your grace, strength, presence and peace in times of suffering. Thank You that You can use our suffering for Your glory. Forgive us for wanting to hide away in our suffering, rather than to rise up and move forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the ultimate Author of our story, and You have prepared the perfect ending. Show us how to love people well through their seasons of blessing and of suffering, so that they may come to know the hope that is found in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things and at all times, allowing You glory for whatever happens in our story. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Show the Love

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. – (1 John 3:18, NLT)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or theory. Make it your true way of life and live in the pattern of gracious love. – (1 John 3:18, VOICE)

 

God calls us to love with more than words. Though our words ought to be loving, our actions are what speak the loudest. If what we do is not motivated by love, it is evident to all, and our words will fall on deaf ears. However, when our actions are constantly seeking to serve others, and to put the needs of others before our own desires, people notice that there is something different driving us, and want to know what fuels our faithfulness. It is only through consistent action over time, that words begin to bear weight. In a relationship, the words “I love you” mean nothing, unless actions have shown the words to be true, over and over again. The same holds true in every other place in our lives where we interact with people. We are called to love. May we choose to love with our whole lives, rather than with words alone.

 

Oh Lord let our love,Generous Giving

Be made evident;

Not through words alone,

But acts of intent.

For things that we do,

Speak louder than words;

It is our actions,

The most clearly heard.

May our way of life,

All that we choose do;

Be done with great love,

So people see You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love with our actions, rather than merely our words. Thank You, Jesus, that You do not just ask us to do this, but You modeled it for us. You touched the untouchable, loved the unlovable and over and over again, helped in tangible ways. Thank You that You also equip us to do the same. Forgive us for the times that our words and deeds are not aligned in love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk out all of our days in the abundance of love that You shower upon us. Show us how to love those around us in ways that reach their hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see evidence of who You are and how You love through Your people placed in their lives who love them well. Be glorified O God, as we live out our days in the pattern of Your gracious love. 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

This New Day

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – (Psalm 118:24, NLT)

 

Every single day we have reason to rejoice, simply because we have life in Him. Each day is a new opportunity to observe in awe, the mighty power of our Maker as He moves in and around us. Some days, we need not look far to find how His mighty hand has touched our hearts and lives with His great love; however, there are days in which we have to be intentional to slow down and quiet ourselves before Him, to really recognize the blessings that He has bestowed upon us and those around us. He moves whether we notice or not, which is why it is so important to be intentional in our time with Him. At times, our reason to rejoice comes in a gentle whisper, as we are reminded of who we are in Him. May we rise up and rejoice and be glad, for this is a new day that the Lord has made for us to live.

 

Today is a day,IMG_2491

Like none come before;

Crafted with purpose,

For you, God has more.

Because God is good,

Our hearts can rejoice;

Find joy each new day,

As we hear His voice.

No matter what comes,

He has good in store;

A plan and purpose,

In Christ, there is more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make each day new with a plan and a purpose. Thank You that there is always reason for us to rejoice, even on our darkest days. Forgive us for the times that we become stuck, and cannot see past our sorrow and struggles. Help us to see clearly the light of hope that is always present in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rejoice and be glad each new day that we draw breath. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we extend hope and joy to the spaces of darkness and sorrow. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice and are filled with gladness for this new day that You have made. 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

He Has Shown Us Good

He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God? – (Micah 6:8, NKJV)

 

In this sacred season, as we recognize the birth of our Redeemer, our charge is to respond in a way that glorifies the goodness of God. If we are just, merciful and walk humbly with God, it would be impossible to not notice something different about how we conduct ourselves. People are drawn to goodness and grace. May we be light and love and life to all those in need this season, as we choose to be fair and kind, humble and full of grace, giving to others as we have so richly been given through the goodness of God.

 

For we have been shown,Submit Not to the Snare of Fear

The goodness of God;

Let our hearts respond,

And humbly choose trod.

May we do justly,

Love mercy and grace;

Extend to others,

God’s loving embrace.

For the Lord requires,

We walk in His way;

So others might come,

In His safety’s stay. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us what is good and what You require of us. Thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You are not willing to empower and equip us to do. Thank You that You are merciful and just to us, so that we are drawn to walk humbly with You. Forgive us for not conducting ourselves justly or mercifully, or for lacking humility when all that we have and all that we are is because of You. Teach us how to trust You more, and to give You glory in all things. Show us how to love all those around us with mercy and grace, so that they may come to know Your goodness for themselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with 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

Teach the Way that Fits

Train a child in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. – (Proverbs 22:6, CEB)

Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path. – (Proverbs 22:6, ERV)

 

This morning, as the change of seasons is in the air, and the sense of a new school year is sneaking into consciousness, this verse strikes a significant spot in my heart. How I teach, how I lead, what I say, and all that I do, matter around kids. Both my own and my students will be watching. They notice when I am patient, and they are aware of when I am not. Do I apologize when I am wrong? If I show students what I expect from them, it leaves an impression that lasts. In my own experience as a student, the teachers that stood out the most, were the ones who were consistent and fair over time, and were able to make me feel heard and known. It is only through our hearing and knowing kids, that we can train them in the ways in which they should go. Our task to give them the tools to navigate the world around them is significant. Though a history lesson or a math lesson in and of itself might not be “the” key that drives their success in the future, perhaps a nugget of wisdom that came from conversation will stick with them, and help them along the way. May we take to heart the task of training children in the way that meets them where they are, and helps move them forward to where they need to go.

 

To train up a child,photo (15)

How they’re meant to go;

Is no easy task,

To help children grow.

We must meet each child,

However they come;

Discover their need,

Help them know they’re loved.

It is more than words,

It’s shown over time;

Intent with purpose,

The way to walk right.

As they discover,

The strength that’s within;

They find their own wings,

Power to begin.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for trusting us with the tremendous task of training children. Thank You that You give us Your word, that when children are trained up in the way they are meant to go, that they will not depart from it when they are old. Thank You that You are faithful to Your promises. Forgive us for our inconsistencies when interacting with kids. Teach us to be patient and kind, encouraging and ones to model the way in which we are asking kids to go. Show us how to love all kids well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. Help each child to feel valued and know their worth. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare to teach children however they come, and lead them in the way they are meant to go. Amen.

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

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Faithful Love Forever

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. – (Psalm 136:1, NLT)

…His faithful love lasts forever. – (VOICE)

…His faithful love will last forever. – (ERV)

…His loving-kindness continues forever. – (TLB)

…His mercy endures forever. – (MEV)

 

Psalm 136 repeats the second line “His faithful love endures forever” in every verse. Twenty-six times we are reminded that the faithful love of God lasts forever. Typically, when something repeats in scripture, we are meant to take note and pay attention. A line that repeats in each verse of an entire chapter, leads to memorization and perhaps a passing through of the barrier between the head and the heart. God wants us to understand that He is loving, merciful and kind, and that His faithfulness is forever when we place our trust in Him. The Lord is good, and deserves all of our thanks. May we recognize His faithful love that lasts for all time, and give Him thanks for who He is.

 

Give thanks to the Lord,Confidence in Christ

for He is so good;

His love never ends,

and hope’s understood.

His loving kindness,

shall last for always;

so let us give thanks,

for all of our days.

His mercy endures,

though we deserve not;

the love that He gives,

when the truth is sought.

Let us each embrace,

the truth of His word;

His love shall not end,

may His hope be heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, and that Your faithful love lasts forever. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and we are received with open arms. Thank You that Your mercy is new every morning, and that Your kindness is what leads us to repentance. Forgive us for doubting Your faithfulness. Teach us to trust in the truth of Your goodness and faithfulness that will not end. Show us how to love faithfully, all those around us, so that they too, might see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give thanks to You for who You are and how Your love and faithfulness never ends. Amen.

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

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

Where to Take Troubles

I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer. – (Psalm 120:1, NLT)

I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me. – (Psalm 120:1, NIV)

 

When troubles come, and panic mode hits an all time high, we can either work ourselves in a frenzy, bury our head in the sand or bow our knees. God hears and answers the faithful prayers of those who seek Him. He hears every cry, and knows every need. There is no trouble nor trial that escapes His notice, and He is ready and willing to walk beside us, and move on our behalf. This weekend was one of those weekends for me. I had an obstacle that I could not overcome, and it seemed every turn that I took to try to accomplish what was needed, fell short. Finally, in my frustration, I hit my knees and bowed my head – calling out to God for help, as there was no possible way for me to do what I needed to do on my own. Yesterday, I thought a solution was before me, so peace was present. When I realized there had been a mishap and what I thought was the answer, was not, again, the frustration and fear began to creep in. Half-hearted prayers escaped my lips, and I continued through the morning as if swimming through mud. Then, when I had reached my breaking point, a dear friend stepped in and walked beside me, and together we navigated the unknown. God knew what I needed, and provided, at just the right time. He heard my cries and answered my prayer. He is good and He is faithful, no matter how things appear. May we rise up in trust, and call on Christ in our distress, for He hears and He answers when we come before Him.

 

When troubles come near,Worrys Worth1

cry out to the Lord;

for He hears each cry,

all grace He affords.

He answers the cries,

of those who choose seek;

the Lord in distress,

for strength when we’re weak.

He walks beside us,

when the storms rage on;

He is our safety,

for our whole life long.

May we learn to trust,

the Lord in all things;

for He calms the storm,

and true peace He brings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can bring our troubles before You, and You hear our cries and answer our prayers. Thank You that You walk beside us in the throes of life’s storms, and You never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for attempting to figure things out on our own, rather than seek Your help in all things. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the answer to all that we are asking. Show us how to love others in a way that brings peace to distress and help to spaces of trouble, so that they might gain a glimpse of You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we call out to You in our distress, and trust You to answer our heart’s cry. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Where Roots Grow, Thankfulness Shall Overflow

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:7, NLT)

(Be) rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:7, NIV)

Where we choose to be planted, roots will grow. When we invest our hearts and lives in Christ, He grows His truth deep within us, and we become firmly established. With each new bud of strength that grows, so too, does our gratitude. As we allow Christ to strengthen us further in our faith in Him, thankfulness begins to overflow from our whole being. We cannot help but burst forth blooms of thanks, when our roots run deep in His love. May we allow our hearts and minds to be rooted and built up in Christ, as He strengthens us in the truth; and may we allow thankfulness to freely flow from our hearts as we notice the grace that God continually gives.

Deep rooted in Christ,Bloom Where We're Planted

is the place to grow;

firmly established,

where His truth we know.

Here we are strengthened,

by His love and grace;

may thanks overflow,

as we give God praise.

Let both heart and mind,

hold fast to the truth;

all thanks be to Him,

Who builds up, makes new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we invest our hearts and minds in You and Your word, we are rooted and built up in You. Thank You that You strength us in faith and fill our hearts to overflowing with thankfulness. Forgive us for not investing all that we are into who You are calling us to become, or for not giving proper thanks where it is due. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will surrender all that we are unto You. Make us more of who You created us to become, and help our hearts to overflow with gratitude for who You are and all that You have done and continue to do. Lead us to love others so that they may see Your heart for them through how they are cared for through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are rooted and built up in You, strengthened in the faith as You have taught us, and allow our hearts to overflow with thankfulness. 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

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