To Run Well

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)

We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. – (Hebrews 12:1, ERV)

As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. – (Hebrews 12:1, TPT)

Though this was written to the early church to encourage and guide believers, the message remains true today. One thing that stands out to me is the idea of being surrounded by people who are great examples of what it is to live a godly life. It takes intentional investment in people to be surrounded by those who help lead, guide and walk beside us in the way that God is calling us to live. Next, we have to let go of previous harm to move forward. It is an intentional decision to forgive and give it to God. To do so does not mean that we have to forget what we learned or jump back into harmful spaces, but rather we must release the burden of hurt, anger and grudges, and choose to forgive and place it all in His hands. Additionally, we must be intentional to walk away from that which leads us astray. As a runner, I love the analogy of life being a marathon. We do not want to do things along the course that will inhibit our ability to run well. The same is true in life. The things that lead us astray, move us off course, or weigh us down, do not help us run our race well. Labor-intensive running is not fun or beneficial, and often leads to injuries. God has already mapped out our course, our job is to keep running in the direction to which we have been called. Our pace is set by Him, and it is never too fast nor too slow. His timing is perfect. May we ever be intentional to surround ourselves with those who encourage us to run well, let go of that which leads us off course, and persevere on the path which God has placed before us.

Let’s surround ourselves,

With those who live well;

In life and in love,

As faithfulness tells.

Let go of past harm,

With purpose, forgive;

Give it to the Lord,

In freedom to live.

Stay clear of the things,

That lead us astray;

And follow the course,

God grants us each day.

Let’s each run our race,

Stay true to the course;

God’s set before us,

Our Strength and our Source.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us and equip us to run the race that You have set before us. Thank You that You instruct us to surround ourselves with those who are running well and can help pace us to stay strong. Thank You too, for showing us to throw aside all that weighs us down or leads us off course. Forgive us for allowing the things of this life to distract us or steer us off course. Teach us to surround ourselves with those who are running well and to keep our eyes on the course You have set before us. Show us how to be an encouragement to others and to love all well so that they too will be encouraged to continue to run the race You designed for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we each rely on You to lead us to run our own race well. Amen.

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

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. – Proverbs 4:12

Success in Our Savior

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV)

But we thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! – (1 Corinthians 15:57, ERV)

But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. – (1 Corinthians 15:57, TPT)

There are times when we are moving forward, ever seeking to do what we are meant to do, and still obstacles come our way. It does not mean we are off course; often it is an indication that there is more that God wants to show or teach us as we press on. He does not cause frustrating things to stand in our way, but He does allow mountains and valleys before us to show His strength that equips us to overcome as we seek Him. One of my goals before my “big” birthday this summer is to run a marathon. About six weeks ago, I fractured all three bones in my little toe. This created a month-long hiatus from running, and some serious frustration. Over the last week or so, I had finally been able to get back to running and was working to rebuild endurance. On my first run back at it, we ended up running our usual pace (prior to the fracture) and I was encouraged and grateful for God’s grace and faithfulness. Fast forward to Friday evening, and out of nowhere I felt feverish and had a sore throat. I was supposed to get a long run in over the weekend, and at long last, return to teaching on campus. Sadly, neither took place, and I am again deterred by a setback. Thankfully, this race we are running is not a sprint, but is an ultra marathon. It requires ongoing forward momentum, even if our steps seem miniscule. God is faithful and grants us victory in Christ. This season may look nothing like I had hoped or imagined, but I know that He is good and will lead me forward according to His plan. He knows the desires of my heart and will not leave me or forsake me. I know not what victory in Him will look like in this season, but I know that God is good. Each new day, I will trust Him to lead me forward, and be my strength to keep moving in the right direction. May we ever thank the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness, for we have the ultimate victory in Him.

All thanks be to God,

Our true victory;

For He is our strength,

The One that we need.

No matter the course,

Our race seems to take;

God will be faithful,

With goodness and grace.

Setbacks and detours,

And bumps in the road;

He grants us His strength,

Helps carry the load.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what comes our way, You are faithful to be present and see us through. Thank You that even when obstacles lie before us, the road You have set us on remains the same. Forgive us for our frustration with setbacks and obstacles that come our way. Teach us to trust You to remain faithful as You lead us forward, despite how things appear. Show us how to love, encourage and support those around us as they run the race that You have set before them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to successfully lead us along the path You have placed before us; for victory is already ours in Christ. Amen.

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

Indeed our shield belongs to the Lord, our King to the Holy One of Israel. – Psalm 89:18

Awareness of Everywhere

“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. – (Jeremiah 23:24, NIV) 

“Someone might try to hide from Me in some hiding place. But it is easy for Me to see that person”, says the Lord, “because I am everywhere in heaven and earth.” This message is from the Lord. 

Am I a God anyone can hide from? Do I not see what happens in secret? Am I not everywhere, filling heaven and earth? – (Jeremiah 23:24, VOICE) 

There is both comfort and concern in knowing that God sees and knows all. Comfort comes in knowing that He is aware of all that causes fear and overwhelms us. Concern exists in the awareness of our own faults and failures. God is gracious, but He knows all that we think, say and do. When we are unkind, complacent or far from exhibiting His heart, we grieve the heart of God. In the same way that a parent grieves when their children stray from the way they know they should go, He too, is saddened. However, just as a parent will love their child all the while, He too loves us, His children. Incredibly, God sees and knows all, and still He loves. Because He loved us first, we too have the capacity to love. The more we know Him, the more we long to bless His heart with our words, thoughts and deeds. If we go off course, we need to confess to Him our wrongs, and He lovingly forgives and receives us into His arms. May we ever be aware of God’s loving presence, as He is faithful to help us navigate well.  

The Lord God above, 

He sees and He knows; 

Whatever we do, 

Wherever we go. 

There’s no place on earth, 

Where He will not see; 

All His creation, 

His vast majesty. 

So, seek the Lord’s heart, 

In all that we do; 

To love as He loves, 

He will lead us through. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though You see, hear and know all that we think, say and do, You are present to help and love in all that we do. Forgive us for all that we think, say and do that does not honor You. Forgive us also, for the times that we somehow thought You would not see, or neglected to give thought to Your awareness of all. Teach us to trust and lean into You, so that our every word and deed demonstrate Your loving kindness to all. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your presence and seek to honor You in all. Amen. 

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

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? – Romans 2:4

Capacity to Carry

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. – (Philippians 2:13, NLT)

Yes, it is God who is working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases Him, and He gives you the power to do it. – (Philippians 2:13, ERV)

 

Our capacity to carry out God’s will for our lives on our own, is futile at best. Without the power of God at work in us, we wander off course, and end up seeking to please ourselves. However, when we seek the Lord, and invite Him to work within us, He grants us both the desire and the power, to do what is pleasing before Him. That is not to say that we will always get it right, or that we will never stumble and fall, yet when we are in sync with His heart, we get back up and keep moving in the direction to which we are called. May we seek the Lord and His ways, so that God will work in us, granting us the desire and power to do what pleases Him.

 

The God of all grace,Living a Legacy Life

Is at work in you;

As we seek His face,

He makes our hearts new.

He grants us desire,

To walk in His way;

And His own power,

To rise and obey.

As we choose listen,

We make His heart glad;

What a joy to please,

Our Heavenly Dad.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You and invest our hearts in relationship with You, You work in us and grant us the desire and power to do what pleases You. Forgive us for not seeking or neglecting the direction to which You have called us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen and obey every word You say, as Your way is always best, despite our perception. Show us how to love those around us in a way that is pleasing to You, so that they sense Your heart through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to work in us, so that we may gain the desire and power to do Your will. 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

Pleasing Words and Thoughts

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. – (Psalm 19:14, NLT)

May my words and thoughts please You. Lord, You are my Rock – the One who rescues me. – (Psalm 19:14, ERV)

 

Left to our own devices, our words and thoughts wander far from where we represent our Redeemer well. It takes mere moments in tough traffic, or the span of several seconds in strenuous social settings, for our thoughts, if not our words too, to become curt, callous, or downright cruel. We need Jesus and His grace to keep our thoughts and words aligned with His. If the meditation of our heart is first and foremost fixed on Him, then that which comes out of us, is more likely to be pleasing before the Lord. Thankfully, He is merciful and full of grace, and everyday is a new start. The Lord does not look at where we were yesterday and remind us of how we should have been, but rather He loves us and leads us forward, so that we may be better today. May our words and thoughts be pleasing to the Lord today, as He is our help and our hope.

 

May each word I speak,The Power of the Tongue

Be pleasing to You;

Let my thoughts as well,

To You, Lord, be true.

For You are my Rock,

My rescuing One;

Unto You, Father,

May Thy will be done.

Let not surroundings,

Steer my heart off course;

In all things, always,

Be my Strength and Source.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that as we ask for Your help, You answer us. Forgive us for not fixing our hearts on You, and allowing our thoughts and words to drift in directions that do not honor You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would set our hearts and minds on You in all things and at all times, and be obedient to all that You ask; always. Show us how to love those around us, as we speak words that are pleasing unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to please You with the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts. 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

 

Witnesses to the Truth

I myself am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. I am the one who spoke to you, saved you, and told you those things. It was not some stranger who was with you. You are my witnesses, and I am God. (This is what the LORD Himself said.) – Isaiah 43:11-12, ERV

When we come to know God, personally, we are called to be His witnesses. Because He has spoken to us, saved us, and told us the truth about Himself, it is our charge to let others know who He is by how we live. Are we living like there is no other Savior, or are we being tossed about by each wave that makes way to us? God Himself, dwells in us, by His Spirit. There is nothing that is too difficult for Him. Though we may be overwhelmed by what comes our way, He is not. Each time we allow Him to take control rather than allow the storms to steer us off course, we are being witness to the love and grace of God, by how we choose to live. May we daily, walk in His way, and be witnesses to the truth of who God is and how He loves.

Oh Lord, You are God,Finding Joy

Redeemer, Savior;

He who has spoken,

and granted favor.

You were not unknown,

but chose to be seen;

so that all might know,

how to be redeemed.

For those who receive,

we now have been called;

to be witnesses,

of hope to show all.

May our very life,

reflect what we know;

so others too come,

to seek, find and grow.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Savior of all. Thank You that You have revealed Yourself to all who place their trust in You. Thank You that You are not unknown nor far off, but You are God with us. Thank You that You call us to be Your witnesses. Forgive us for failing to represent You well at times, and teach us to trust You more, so that You would be our Source of strength at all times. Lead us to love in such a way, that we illuminate Your goodness and grace to others, so that they too, long after You. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in Your way as witnesses for You. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Believe to Be Victorious

Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. – (1 John 5:5, NIV)

It is our faith that has won the victory against the world.  So who wins against the world?  Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. – (1 John 5:5, ERV)

The “world” is anything and everything that would tempt us to live in a way that is contrary to the life that Christ is calling us to live.  We have an adversary who seeks to lead us away from the path which we are called to pursue.  It is only when we believe with our hearts and lives that Jesus is the Son of God, and live our lives accordingly, that we are able to overcome that which attempts to steer us off course.  Temptations that seek to suck us in, can be withstood, when we are armed with the truth and invested in a relationship with the Savior of our soul.  May we believe with all that we are, that Jesus is the Son of God, and live out our lives accordingly, so that we may walk victoriously, as we overcome the world.

To rise, overcome,Offered Unto You

it takes great belief;

in Jesus the Son,

our hope and relief.

No battle is won,

unless we choose cling;

to Christ our Savior,

Overcoming King.

No foe can withstand,

the power of God;

in Him we will win,

as heaven applauds.

So rise up, dear ones,

and trust in the King;

for we’ll overcome,

that’s what the truth brings.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that if we choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and place our trust in You, we are able to overcome all that would come against us.  Thank You that every victory is ours through Christ.  Forgive us for making our adversary too big, or making You too small, as You are far greater than anything that would come against us.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be confident in Your mercy, grace, strength and power that You provide in every situation.  Lead us  to love others as You call us to love.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord.  Be glorified O God, as we rise up and overcome the world in Your strength as You call us to keep pressing forward.  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

The Race Marked Out for Us

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – (Hebrews 12:1)

 

Each and every one of us has our own race that we are called to run. Our race is not a sprint, but rather it is a lifelong marathon. We are called to run a race full of obstacles and challenges that we must take on with trust in Him, in order to keep moving according to the course He has set before us. The great cloud of witnesses that surround us, are those who have gone before us and successfully run their own race. They too had to keep running, regardless of weather, terrain, or how they felt. The things that hinder us, are those burdens that weigh us down and make moving unbearable. God wants us to travel light. His intent is not for us to run our race weighted with an extra-heavy load, but rather for one that is custom crafted and appropriate and proportionate for us. Additionally, as we run, there are many temptations that attempt to steer us off course. Our charge is to stay the course, and not allow such sin to entangle, as they easily trip us up and steal the security of our footing. May we rise up ready each day and keep running with perseverance, the race marked out before us, throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

 

This wearying road,Break Camp and Move Out

has been run before;

despite obstacles,

from mountain to shore.

The very same God,

from the days of old;

will walk alongside,

give strength to uphold.

Let not the burdens,

keep us from our race;

His hands are outstretched,

He died in our place.

Beware of the sin,

that attempts ensnare;

diverting our eyes,

from Him, over there.

Instead, let us keep,

our hearts ever near;

dependent on Christ,

let us persevere.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there are so many examples of those who have run their race with perseverance before us, and successfully finished fighting the good fight of faith. Thank You that You invite us to throw off everything that hinders us, warn us of those things that would attempt to entangle us, and strengthen us to persevere all the while. Forgive us for allowing our baggage to weigh us down, the things around us to divert our attention away from You, or our trust to simply sag, where it needs to rise up and run strong. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first in all things, and that we will be well-equipped to run our race with perseverance, daily. Lead us to love others consistently and generously, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

In and Out of Season

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. – (2 Timothy 4:2)

 

Preaching the Word does not just mean speaking the truth, but it also includes living a life that models what we believe. So often it is our actions that open opportunities for conversation, not our words.

To be prepared in season and out of season, is to always be ready to serve God whenever and wherever He asks. It is rarely convenient, and often in unlikely places, yet it is always for His light to shine.

Correct, rebuke and encourage are core requirements for parents who love their children. In order to grow, we need to be corrected when we are off course, rebuked when we intentionally go the wrong direction, and encouraged when we choose wisely. Just as children need guidance to grow, we too need direction to grow in God’s grace.

The guidance given must be done with great patience and careful instruction in order for the recipient to be ready to receive what is being offered. Just as children thrive when they are under the tutelage of one who is patient and carefully instructs, so too are we.

 

Lord may we offer,Dew and Dandilion

the truth of Your word;

always in season,

a time to be heard.

Let all that we say,

be backed by action;

may Your truth be clear,

holy transaction.

Correct us Lord God,

show us all our ways;

that don’t honor You,

and lead us to change.

Encourage what’s right,

and lead us in grace;

to shine bright for You,

each day of our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the clear instructions that You give us, and for Your Holy Spirit who equips us to do as You ask. Forgive us for not doing what You have called us to do, and grant us the strength and the courage to rise up and trust You more so that we may be ready in all things and at all times to do whatever You ask. Lead us to love, correct, rebuke and encourage as You would have us do, and help us to be receptive to the same. May many come into a saving relationship with You this season. Be glorified Lord God, as we preach Your Word through our attitudes and actions as well as our words. 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