Making Markers to Remember

“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will as you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – (Joshua 4:6-7, NLT)

…Someday when your children ask you, “Why are these stones piled up here?” You will tell them how the waters of the Jordan parted as the covenant chest of the Eternal One crossed the river, and those stones will fix that memory for the Israelites forever. – (Joshua 4:6-7, VOICE)

 

I love how often in the Old Testament that there are significant stories of God’s faithfulness where the people of God marked their story with stones of remembrance so that the memory of all that God had done will live on for the generations yet to come. I’m not sure when or where that practice was lost, but it makes me take pause to consider yet again, all of the times in my life where I could pile stones of remembrance of God’s faithfulness. The incredible thing about God is that He cares about the small things as well as the giants that cross our paths. One example of His provision and faithfulness for me came yesterday, as I have been dealing with a dead Keurig for the last two weeks. Yes, I know it is a luxury item and I have been abundantly blessed to have one, yet as a very early riser who starts the day with coffee, it has been sadly missed as I’ve had to brew coffee in a make-shift, rustic way. Yesterday, my love spent two hours disassembling the machine to replace the part that seemed to have gone bad. The inner workings of the machine are tiny and difficult to access, yet my Viking mechanic persisted. Once he replaced the part and turned the machine on, it came to life, only to refuse to work the way it was intended. The life of my coffee maker had expired. I had posted my appreciation for his hard work on Facebook, and he later commented about its demise. A sweet friend that I have not seen in quite a while, offered to give me her machine, as she has given up coffee and no longer uses hers. Just like that, something that is not even a need, but rather a want that is appreciated, was provided. Perhaps I need to form a stack of memorial “stones” from k-cups, to remind myself of His goodness and faithfulness, and to share with others, His kindness to me. We all have stories, both big and small, of the wonderful ways that God has provided in our lives. May we ever remember the things that He has done, and consider the stones of remembrance He is building in our lives.

 

Let us make markers, Making Markers to Remember

Of God’s faithfulness;

Ways to remember,

How we have been blessed.

For as we recall,

The good God has done;

Faith grows in others,

Our daughters and sons.

May we each take time,

To tell of His good;

How He’s provided,

Beside us, He stood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever. Thank You that You care about even the small details in our lives because You love us where we are. Thank You for the example that was set long ago, as Your people placed stones of remembrance to commemorate Your faithfulness to them. Forgive us for not acknowledging the ways that You meet us and bless us – both big and small, for Your hand is in it all. Teach us to remember and give You praise for all things. Show us how to set stones of remembrance in our hearts so that we would always have words of gratitude to give. Help us to love those around us in a way that creates reason to remember in their lives as well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember Your faithfulness and tell others of the great things that You have done. 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

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Stones of Remembrance

After this Samuel set up a special stone to help people remember what God did. Samuel put the stone between Mizpah and Shen and named the stone “Stone of Help.” Samuel said, “The Lord helped us all the way to this place.” – (1 Samuel 7:12, ERV)

 

I love how often in the Old Testament that those whom had seen a mighty move of God’s hand on their behalf, would set up a special stone to signify His help. They were intentional to mark the place where their Maker had moved mightily, and such a stone created a talking piece for many generations to come so that they too could speak of the faithfulness of God to their people. Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost, the miracles and mighty movement of God in the lives of people for the generations since, has been astounding. Imagine if each of us created our own stone markers for every time that we saw the hand of God move mightily in our lives – our homes, yards, and cities would have stones everywhere! Perhaps it is a positive practice to picture each time we are aware of His hand in our lives. Where would our remembrance stones be standing? May we take time to pause, reflect, and give God thanks for the help of His hand in our lives, as so often we take for granted the good that He gives on a daily basis.

 

Let us remember, Stones of Remebrance

The help of God’s hand;

As He walks with us,

Grants strength to stand.

In the midst of mess,

His presence is clear;

By His grace, He helps,

Makes known He is near.

Imagine our stones,

Where should they each stand?

Mile markers of grace,

Turning “can’ts to “cans”.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the practice of the people in the Old Testament of establishing stones to remember where You moved mightily on their behalf. Thank You that there has been tangible evidence of Your help and hope for us throughout the ages. Forgive us for not establishing stones of remembrance in our own hearts, as You move mightily on our behalf so often. Teach us to recognize and remember the help You have given, so that we may give You praise, and tell of all that You have done. Show us how to love others well, so that some of the stones of remembrance in their lives may be seeing Your love made tangible through people around them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be intentional about remembering and sharing the goodness and grace of who You are as You help us in ways that are worthy of praise. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

The Basis for Truth

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against Him.” – (John 18:38)

 

Pontius Pilate was no different from much of the world at large today. He believed truth was relative to whatever the majority of people agreed to, or whatever helped to advance his own political or personal agenda. “When there is no basis for truth, there is no basis for moral right and wrong. Justice becomes whatever works or whatever helps those in power. In Jesus and His Word we have a standard for truth and for our moral behavior.” – (NIV footnotes for John 18:38)

 

Without Jesus, we become a society that slips further and further in our own moral decay. Countless examples are present in the Old Testament of kings who ceased to follow God’s way. For each of the kings that did evil in the sight of the Lord, warnings and prophesies were presented. If the warnings were not heeded, destruction surely followed. May we be a people pursuing His path of truth. Jesus is the truth and the light, and in Him there is no darkness. Let us fix our eyes on the Author and finisher of our faith, so that we may run our race with endurance.

 

There’s only one truth,Tending Our Talents

found in the Lord’s Word;

receive nothing else,

as truth to be heard.

For all must agree,

with what the Lord says;

for if it does not,

the words are not His.

Invest in learning,

the biblical facts;

be wise and weary,

of twisted attacks.

There’s only one right,

it’s following Christ;

He opened the way,

with His sacrifice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Truth, the Life and the Way. Thank You that we can come to You, and You have made the way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with You. Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and for demonstrating Your power as You defeated death. Thank You that You grant the very same power to dwell in each of us when we choose to trust in You. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that we have access to the truth and can study and learn more of who You are and what You ask of us. Forgive us for not investing in Your word, or not quieting ourselves before You to allow You to speak that which You want us to hear. Teach us, instruct us, and lead us in every area of our lives. May we go forth as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of You and the truth, and may we love others as You so lavishly love us. Let those who are looking, come to know the Truth. Be exalted, Lord God, in everything we do today. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – Johm 11:41

The Reason for Reverence

The fear of the Lord

image by Sava Alexandru

image by Sava Alexandru

is to revere Him.

Acknowledge His ways,

let love dwell within.

Serve the Lord only,

with heart, soul, and mind.

Obey His precepts,

His grace is divine.

The heavens are His,

so too is the earth.

All of existence,

He’s crafted from birth.

Each of us chosen,

by God, set apart.

So we ought to serve,

and offer our heart.

(Responding to Deuteronomy 10:12-16)

Despite the exhaustive lists of laws found throughout the Old Testament, Moses simplified the list by letting the people know that what God was truly asking was: “Fear the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, love Him, serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and observe the Lord’s commands and decrees I am giving you today for your own good.” – Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Regardless of the “rules”, God was still seeking the same thing He seeks today – a heart that is after His.  The words from Deuteronomy sound strikingly similar to those spoken in Luke as the answer correctly given to what is required to inherit eternal life.

“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

He wants our hearts through a personal and intentional relationship with Him, not ritualistic rule following that is devoid of personal devotion to His deity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son and made the way for us to enter into a personal relationship with You.  Thank You that we are free to come before You to confess our careless ways, and that You forgive us and free us from the burden of our own brokenness.  Teach us to love You with all that we are, and may many come to know You as we do.  Amen.

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

Poured Out

photo by The Sweet Tea Diaries

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus; feet and wiped His feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” – John 12:3

Such perfume was typically purchased to prepare a person for burial.  Her act of love and devotion to the Lord, could perhaps be representative of what Jesus was about to do on the cross.  God, in His great love for us, sent His Son.  His very best was broken and poured out so that the fragrance of those who believe, might be acceptable and pleasing to our Provider.  His broken body and spilled blood, were as the jar and the perfume – as it was broken and poured out, it covered the stench and the heat and the grime, filling the house with its fragrance.  Likewise, His blood covers the stink and slime created by our sin, when we are willing to receive His incredible offering; we then may become a sweet scent to our Savior.

God’s Son was sent so that He could be broken on our behalf, in our place, so that we might become a pleasing aroma to both people and our Provider.  His very life, poured out for all people who believe.

In the Old Testament, whenever the term “poured out” is seen, it is paired with a sort of complete covering – be it offering, blessing, or wrath.

Both Matthew and Luke contain “poured out“, using it in reference of Jesus’ blood on our behalf. (covering all of our sin)

Acts sites “poured out” in reference to the gift of the Holy Spirit upon those who believed. (Acts 2:33, 10:45)

Romans 5:5, refers to God’s love through the Holy Spirit, being poured out.

I Timothy 1:14 tells us of His grace being poured out upon us.

Philippians 2:17 refers to the rejoicing we may find in our Redeemer, as we are poured out by our sacrifice and service that come from our faith.

Revelations returns to “poured out” as the delivery of wrath upon the wicked in end times. (see Revelation 16)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to be poured out in our place.  Teach us to pour out our faith as we learn to follow Your leading.  May our love for You and for all people, be a sweet scent unto You.  Pour out Your Spirit upon us, so we may be empowered and equipped to fulfill our purposes.  Amen.

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