Tag Archive: past


You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head. – (Psalm 139:5, NLT)

You are all around me – in front of me and behind me. I feel Your hand on my shoulder. – (Psalm 139:5, ERV)

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness You follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With Your hand of love upon my life, You impart a blessing to me. – (Psalm 139:5, TPT)

 

The kindness of God never ceases to amaze me. So often, He uses the people He has placed in my life to show me His love in remarkable ways. Yesterday, as the start of the school day was drawing near, I walked into the library and crossed paths with a colleague and friend. She happened to be wearing my shirt for the Seattle Majestics (the semi-pro, full-tackle, women’s football team I made about a month ago), and I smiled and complimented her on her shirt. Her response was very sweet and supportive, and I walked away blessed and encouraged. Not twenty yards out the library door, I encountered another dear co-working friend, wearing the same shirt and a sweet smile. I did a double-take in disbelief, and again was built up with blessing. One of my dearest friends made a cameo in my class, also donning said shirt, as she informed my students of my latest endeavor. Though I was likely several shades of red, it was entertaining to see my kids respond to the idea of their teacher playing football. At the end of the day, we had a staff meeting and there were a total of four fabulous ladies sporting the shirts in support of this new adventure. For me, it was a reminder that I am valued and known, even if I am quiet and often fly under the radar. He sees and He knows, and His hand of blessing is upon me. May we ever remember Who goes before us and stands behind, as the Lord loves to impart blessings upon us.

 

The Lord goes before, img_20171206_163718_0541739637535.jpg

And He stands behind;

He extends blessings,

With our hearts in mind.

He knows and He sees,

The need of each heart;

The hand of His love,

His blessing imparts.

Protects from the past,

And prepares the way;

Strength for tomorrow,

And love all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You go before us and stand behind. Thank You that You walk beside us and bless us as we go. Thank You that You place us in communities. Thank You for the incredible gift of the people whom You have placed in mine. Forgive us for not recognizing Your hand of blessing in the good that goes on around us each day. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would fix our eyes on the blessings that You bestow upon us, rather than the struggles that we face. Thank You that You are with us through it all. Show us how to support, encourage, walk beside and love those around us in the day-to-day, as that is the community to which we are called. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your presence and Your blessings, and extend the good that we have been given to those around us. Amen.

 

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

 

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

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Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. – (Philippians 3:13, NIV)

Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. – (Philippians 3:13, ERV)

No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. – (Philippians 3:13, TLB)

 

This is a goal to keep in mind as we pursue a life in Christ. If we keep dwelling on the past, we prevent ourselves from moving forward. However, when we make the choice to let go of what lies behind us, and rather, look forward to that which lies ahead, all of our energy and strength is focused in a forward direction. Progress and growth occur when we set our sights ahead. In Christ, our ultimate forward focus is heaven. We can have a heavenly mindset as we fix our eyes on the Lord and choose to love as we are loved by Him. Though not one of us has “arrived” yet, we can ever press on toward the prize, and continue to live out our days with our hearts set on His ways. May we let go of the past that hinders us, and press forward in faith, trusting in the goodness and love that lies ahead in the Lord.

 

Brothers and sisters,Delivering Dreams

All seeking the Lord;

Press on toward the prize,

Heaven’s the reward.

Let go of the past,

All that weighs us down;

Place all in His hands,

It’s where we are found.

Press on toward the prize,

No matter the fight;

The work is worth it,

To do what is right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can let go of our past sin, mistakes and failures, and move forward toward all that lies ahead in You. Forgive us for forgetting what ultimately matters when the weight of the world bears down on our shoulders. Teach us to lean into You, so that we would let go of the past and press forward to all that You have waiting as we walk forward in faith with You. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may let go of what is behind them and move forward toward all of the good that You have waiting. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we let go of our past fears and failures, and move forward toward all that awaits in You. 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

So don’t lose the courage that you had in the past. Your courage will be rewarded richly. You must be patient. After you have done what God wants, you will get what He promised you. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, ERV)

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, NLT)

 

We cannot allow our faith to be shaken by what we see before us. The very same God who brought us through our previous trials and troubles, is present and faithful today. Our part, is to press in and patiently endure the difficulty, as often there are struggles along the way to grow our faith and strengthen our resolve. What God has promised, He will be faithful to fulfill. The challenge for us is to do our part to receive the promise. In my experience, and that which I observe in those around me, I find that there are steps of faith required on our part to get to where God wants us to be to receive that which He has spoken. As we do what we are designed and equipped to do by faith, He meets us and does that which only He can to complete the fulfillment in incredible ways. May we ever keep the courage that we have known in Christ, and continue to have patience in the time between the promise spoken, and when it is fulfilled. Let us be ready and willing to move in faith wherever He calls us to go, so that we may witness the wonder of His mighty work as He brings fulfillment to that which He has promised.

 

Do not lose courage, Keep Confident Trust

Or confident trust;

For God is faithful,

Loving, and He’s just.

As we are patient,

With hope, we endure;

God builds up our faith,

His promise secure.

So keep with His will,

Trust that you’ll receive;

All He has promised,

Be patient, believe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what You promise, You are faithful to fulfill when we continue to walk in the direction to which we are called. Thank You that You develop patient endurance within us in the time between when a promise is spoken and when it is fulfilled. Forgive us for our lack of patience or our wandering our own way in attempt to pursue that which You have spoken. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would only go the direction to which we are called, and that we would stay the course, regardless of what we do or do not see. Show us how to love and encourage those around us, so that they may recognize Your faithfulness through our consistent living in the light of Your love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to our confident trust in You as we patiently navigate the time between promises spoken and when they are fulfilled. 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

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. – (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. – (Philippians 3:13, ERV)

Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know that I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I am leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. – (Philippians 3:13, VOICE)

 

We are always a work in progress. Not one of us ever “arrives“. However, we can leave our past in the past, and keep pressing forward to that which God has called us, as He transforms us in the process. Each misstep can be an opportunity to learn and grow, if we allow God to lead, and choose to willingly follow. Often He will use our greatest struggles to later become strengths for His glory. May we set aside all that hinders us, and keep pressing forward toward all that God has in store. He is good, and what lies ahead is far better than anything that lies behind.

 

Brothers and sisters,The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

Though we’ve far to go;

The place we are in,

Has required growth.

Forget the old life,

The things of the past;

Press on toward the prize,

And all that shall last.

For when we trust God,

And seek what is true;

Our goals have purpose,

As hope is made new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we still have a long way to go, we can focus on what lies ahead. Thank You that our hope is held in You and our future is secure when we place our trust in You. Thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for each of us, and as we seek You, You show us the way to go. Forgive us for wandering our own way, or for losing focus. Teach us to keep our eyes on the prize, remembering that the end goal is eternity with You. Show us how to love well, all those who cross our paths, so that they too, 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 forget about the past and fix our eyes forward on what You have placed before us. 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

In Luke 7:36-50, the story of Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman is unpacked. I love the scene that my mind’s eye imagines, as the Pharisee, who has invited Jesus to dinner, likely to show Him how “great” he was, was quite put out when this immoral woman showed up and began hanging out at the feet of Jesus. It even went so far as to record what Simon (the Pharisee) said to himself, “If this Man were a prophet, He would know what kind of woman is touching Him. She’s a sinner!” (Luke 7:39, NLT)

The sinful woman was fully aware of her sin. She was repentant as she knelt at the feet of Jesus and washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair. Additionally, she anointed his feet with perfume and continued to cover them with kisses.

Simon just did not get it. Jesus wanted to be sure that he did. He stopped Simon in his tracks, and told him a story of two men being forgiven their debts. One was forgiven a small debt, the other, a much larger debt. When Jesus asked Simon which man would love more, Simon was able to reply, “The one who had been forgiven more.”

It does not appear that Simon had some sort of great revelation for himself and his own need for forgiveness, but at least it seems he gained a glimpse of why the woman’s weeping and washing of Jesus’ feet with her hair was an act of worship.

This story has many points, but the two that stand out the most are that we need to recognize our own necessity to repent, and that it is not our position to determine a person’s heart when they come before the Lord. We all have a past, and those who have been forgiven much, love much. May we ever seek the Lord and His forgiveness, so that we may go forth and love as He loves.

 

There’s no “good enough”,

caught-in-awe-sylvia-carlton

Artwork by Sylvia Carlton

Nor penance required;

Instead, we can come,

Presence is desired.

Jesus says draw near,

Despite where we’ve been;

He longs to forgive,

Wash away our sin.

As we choose take pause,

Truly recognize;

His mercy granted,

Great love realized.

As we’re forgiven,

Let us likewise love;

So others too know,

Hope in Christ above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us such beautiful examples of forgiveness and gratitude for Your mercy and grace. Thank You that You call us to be gracious and merciful as You are full of mercy and grace toward us all. Forgive us for the times that we either viewed others as less than, or ourselves as more than we should. Teach us to see ourselves and others through Your lens – as loved and in need of a Savior. Help us to love well, all those around us, so that they may see Your heart through our mercy and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love without limits, and forgive as we have been forgiven. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

So don’t lose the courage that you had in the past. Your courage will be rewarded richly. You must be patient. After you have done what God wants, you will get what He promised you. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, ERV)

So don’t throw away your confidence – it brings a great reward. You need to endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God’s will. – (Hebrews 10:35-36, CEB)

 

God calls us to be courageous. He grants us the strength to stand strong in that which we know to be true. It is imperative that we have patience and endurance to remain true to that which we have been called, and stay true to who He has created us to be. As we navigate our journey in obedience, we see the faithful fulfillment of His promises unfold. May we walk forward in courage and strength, staying the course to which we have been called.

 

O Lord grant us strength,Bold in Battle

To rise and be true;

Courageous, patient,

In all that we do.

Help us stay faithful,

To what You have asked;

Please grant us Your strength,

To fulfill each task.

Lead us Lord Jesus,

So we all may see;

Promises answered,

As You’ve said they’d be.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us the confidence and strength that we need to endure to remain faithful to that which You have called us to do. Thank You that as we walk in obedience, we see the fulfillment of Your promises come to fruition. Forgive us for our lack of faith or our wandering astray, and please help us to obey. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would desire Your will above all else, and that our lives would be lived accordingly. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points people to Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we courageously endure to pursue the path that You have prepared for us. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. – (Psalm 34:4, NLT)

 

Typically, I don’t think that people who know me would consider me to be fearful. In fact, often my sense of adventure leads people to believe that fear is seldom on my radar. Unfortunately, fear has a way of creeping into unexpected cracks, and wreaking havoc where we least expect it. Strength, courage and boldness come more easily in areas that the Lord has shown His faithfulness before. However, there are spaces where prior experience sends up all sorts of red flags, and fear fights to prevent forward momentum where we are called to move. This, this is the place where persistence in prayer is the only way past our past. As we pray, He is faithful to meet us, take us by the hand, and lead us forward into the freedom that He intended for us all along. When we find ourselves face-to-face with fear, may we pray to the Lord for His help; for He is faithful to meet us in our need and lead us to the freedom He designed for us for all our days.

 

No one is fearless,photo (10)

For fear finds a way;

To rise and threaten,

Where peace ought to reign.

We’re not to be stuck,

Nor crippled by fear;

For God will answer,

Each prayer, He hears.

He grants us courage,

To face the unknown;

Provides new freedom,

Where our faith is grown.

Rise up warriors,

Pray, for He is near;

The Lord will answer,

And free us from fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can pray to You, and You answer us. Thank You that You are the One who will take us by the hand and walk us through the places that we are held captive by fear. Forgive us for not calling on You for help and staying stuck in the spaces where fear holds us prisoner. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring each fear before You as it is identified, and trust You to lead us forward, despite what we see or have experienced in the past. Show us how to walk beside people in the strength of Your love, so that they too may find freedom from the fears that keep them captive. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give our fears to You, and trust You to set us free. 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

 

People should never be discounted for who they appear to be, or what they may have done in the past. God can redeem and raise up the unlikeliest of people to do great things for His purposes.

This morning, my daily reading covered Joshua 2:1-21, which is the story of Rahab and how she helped the Israelite spies that Joshua had sent ahead to Jericho.

“Rahab is a woman in a male-centered world; and she is a prostitute, the kind of person we typically vilify. But if she doesn’t rescue these men – and help them escape with the information they have gained – this first campaign in the land of Canaan will fail, and the larger outcome may be complicated  – or worse.” (VOICE footnotes)

As a result of Rahab’s protection of the spies when the king had sent his guards to find them, she and her family would ultimately be spared. The spies spoke the following to Rahab: “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” – (Joshua 2:14, NLT)

Not only would her life be spared, but all of her family.

I love that a woman with such a sordid past, was used by God to do something so remarkable. Her act of kindness propelled the movement of an entire population into the promise so long sought after. No one should ever be discounted. We all have a past, yet each one has potential. God can do ANYTHING through a heart that is willing. May we rise up and look at the world around us through a lens that sees possibilities rather than just problems. Great things begin with the seemingly insignificant…

 

Do not choose discount,Finding Freedoms Flight

A colorful past;

For last shall be first,

And first shall be last.

God does not do things,

The way we foresee;

But rather He moves,

To set captives free.

Perceptions at times,

Are the thickest walls;

That limit our sight,

And disrupt His call.

Lord, give us Your eyes,

To see as You do;

Each person with gifts,

That You long to use.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see every single person as someone with potential to do great things according to Your purposes. Thank You that our past does not discount us, nor does our present status. Forgive us for discounting ourselves or others from being useful to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may see ourselves and others through Your lens, not our own. Show us the potential in those around us, and help us to encourage and draw out the good in all. Help us to love others well, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look for opportunities to move where You are calling, and to encourage those around us as they step out in faith. 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

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. – (Romans 3:22, NLT)

God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. – (Romans 3:22, ERV)

 

God made the way for people to be right with Him again when He sent His Son. Jesus came to restore what had been fractured in the garden. As He took all of our sin and shame upon Himself, He covered each of us who chooses to believe by faith, and opened eternity’s door. By faith, we are seen as righteous before God – not for what we have or have not done, but rather because we are His, and we choose to embrace the grace He gives. This glorious grace is not limited to those who have lived a certain way, or abide by a set of predetermined standards to “qualify“. God gives to ALL who seek Him by faith and trust that what He says is true. There is no sinner vs. Saint, but rather, each of us who choose to receive what He offers, have been redeemed by His mercy and grace, and are called His own. May we place our faith in Jesus, and trust in Him; for He is merciful and full of grace, ready to restore what is fractured within us.

 

For God made the way,Being Made New

the way to restore;

all that was broken,

through Him we adore.

When He sent His Son,

He opened the way;

for mercy and grace,

to enter each day.

We need not perform,

nor rise and excel;

He wants us to trust,

that He fends off hell.

It is through our faith,

that we are made right;

our past is the past,

we’re now His delight.

His love runs so deep,

that He chose to give;

His very own Son,

so we all might live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are made right before You by placing our faith in Christ. Thank You that this is true for everyone everywhere. Thank You that there are no qualifications of being “good enough” or “doing enough” to somehow earn Your favor. Thank You that it is a matter of trusting You. Forgive us for our lack of faith at times, and help us to completely trust in You. Teach us to place all that we are in Your hands, for You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love others with a love that leads them to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place all of our faith in You, because You are good and loving, and You restore all that is broken within us and make us whole. 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

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. – (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)

 

If I am to move forward in that which God is calling and equipping me, I have to let go of the past and look ahead, otherwise I will be stuck in a space of limbo. When we are caught in the in-between of what has been and what is yet to be, there is this sense of stuck that we cannot escape. It is only when we make the choice to fix our eyes completely on Jesus, that we find we have the capacity to begin moving forward in the direction to which we are being called. Even if our movement is painfully slow, pressing in and remaining focused on Him who calls, results in bringing us closer towards where we are headed than where we were before. May we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and press on toward our heavenly prize to which we are being called. Let the Lord lead us in this race, and allow Him to map out the race plan.

 

All that once has been,Persevere to the Promise

is now done and gone;

we‘re called to step up,

and keep moving on.

With eyes fixed on Christ,

let us run this race;

not as a quick sprint,

but at His set pace.

Though there will be turns,

and trials each day;

may we keep running,

on His path, let’s stay.

For at the race end,

is the greatest prize;

eternal glory,

seen in Jesus’ eyes.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can move beyond our past and look forward to what lies ahead. Thank You that You strengthen and equip us to press on to reach the end of our race and receive the heavenly prize for which You are calling us. Forgive us for forgetting that this life is not a sprint, but rather is a marathon. Help us to listen to Your race plan rather than our own. You know what is best, and You map out the very best route for us, individually. Help us to trust You more. Show us how to love others with the same relentless, limitless love that You give unto us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look forward to what lies ahead, and press on into all that You are calling us to do. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

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