The Focus of His Affection

For me, writing is a process that involves the tactile and the tangible, not simply sitting at the computer for each step of the process. I delight in the joy of opening a new journal for the first time, knowing that it is the beginning of a new chapter of this journey that God has designed, just for me. Typically, I purchase journals well in advance, as I find them on sale. This morning, I had three waiting in line to choose from. As I reached for the one that had the most colorful cover, I discovered more treasures about it upon closer examination. Imprinted on the cover, is the verse: Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – (Psalm 37:4) What a perfect promise to remember, as I am walking through a season of attempting to recall what exactly the desires of my heart include.

On the inside, each page is framed by a watermarked leaf pattern, and includes a quote about God or a verse.

You are God’s created beauty and the focus of His affection and delight. – Janet L. Weaver Smith

When in a season of searching and seeking, it is easy to forget how He sees us. For many of us, there is nothing beautiful about how we perceive ourselves, nor can we fathom His delight. Our brokenness can distract us from the truth that we are deliberately designed, and He delights in each of His hand-crafted kids. Just as we love and lavish our little ones with affection, His affection for us does not end. It is not limited to when we are little, as He welcomes us into His arms to be held, comforted, and encouraged, no matter our age or what we have done. He is hope and He is love. May we take delight in the Lord, and trust that He will give us the desires of our hearts, as we are His created beauty, and the focus of His affection and delight.

Delight in the Lord,The Focus of His Affection

and you’ll come to know;

desires He’s given,

and how they will grow.

He’ll open the doors,

and create the way;

more than imagined,

as we seek each day.

You are His delight,

beauty that He’s made;

and God’s affection,

aimed at You each day.

His arms open wide,

ready to embrace;

to lavish with love,

and cover with grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and come to know You, we delight in who You are. Thank You that as we take delight in You, You begin to uncover and release the desires of our hearts. Thank You that You created each of us intentionally, and the way that we were made, You called very good. Thank You that You delight in Your children. Forgive us for not holding every human, including ourselves, in the same light as You do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would see the beauty and blessing in everyone, through Your lens. Lead us to love others with lavish affection and delight. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we take delight in You, trust You with the desires of our hearts, and receive the focused affection and delight that You grant each of us if we are willing to slow down and receive it. 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

Fortitude for Fear

Fear in all its fury, can be a catalyst for change. When we take pause and really look at the source, Christ will lead us to a place of understanding whether it is a healthy fear that is from Him, placed in us to compel us to action, or if it is some sort of terror that is tormenting our hearts, straight from the pit of hell. In order to know the difference, we must be willing to be transparent about the fear that we are facing. There are times when it is an obvious nudge from our Heavenly Father, yet there are other times where we may need to actually unpack that which has us frozen or ready to take flight, with others who are faithfully following Christ.

 

O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. – (Psalm 139:1-4)

 

We are known and loved so completely, that we need not remain frozen in fear. He sees, knows and hears all that we face, feel and endure. God even is aware of our response to all that comes our way, before we ever respond. To be known and loved so completely, leaves no room remaining for fear to have a foothold. May we rise up in faith, giving our every fear to our Heavenly Father, and allow Him to grant us the fortitude to face all that comes our way.

 

In fear’s ugly grip,Our Map and Our Guide

let us not remain;

for Christ is our strength,

and His freedom reigns.

O Lord, You have searched,

and know me so well;

You know every thought,

the words I will tell.

Thank You in that space,

of being well known;

You strengthen our hearts,

as Your grace is shown.

Let Your strength arise,

and give our heart wings;

so that we may soar,

and of Your truth sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have searched us and You know us, and yet You love. Thank You that in You, we need not fear. Thank You that despite the unknowns and awful that come at us, You are present and You are greater. Forgive us for freezing up in our fear, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to bring our every fear before You, and to speak out to others, when we are meant to share the burden that is too heavy for us to carry alone. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we too, will help others bear burdens that they are unable to withstand alone. Show us how to support, love and pray for one another as You would have us do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we face every fear in Your strength, confident of Your love and faithfulness. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Wondrous Worth

Worth is a weird and wondrous thing. Though we perhaps perceive our own worth based on our packaging or productivity, God holds us in highest esteem, simply because we are His created. Each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made; planned, and created with purpose. Each part of who we are is intentional, and has value in the kingdom of God. Luke 15 unpacks three different parables about just how passionately Christ pursues us, and how all of heaven rejoices when even one, chooses to follow Him. “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – (Luke 15:10) He takes us as we are, regardless of our wrapping, and brings out the beauty that He intended all along. His light, life and love that shine through us, are the things that matter most, and those which can be passed on through our hands and heart to the world. May we go forth today, embracing our worth in the wonderful way He created us to be, so that we may let His light shine.

 

You are more precious,Wondrous Worth

than silver or gold;

your infinite worth,

can hardly be told.

You were intended,

for far greater things;

to rise up in strength,

share what His grace brings.

You were created,

as perfectly you;

with gifts and talents,

things you’re meant to do.

Allow your heart hear,

all Christ has to say;

receive His great love,

then give it away.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created each of us with a plan and a purpose. Thank You that You value each of us far more than we can comprehend. Thank You that our worth is not determined by our perception of our productivity or our packaging, but rather because we are Yours – created by You with a plan and a purpose. Forgive us for comparing ourselves to one another, and help us to embrace the gifts and callings that You have placed in our own lives. Teach us to fix our eyes securely on You so that we may go forth, looking at others through Your lens. Help us to see needs and respond in love. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we go forth in obedient offering. Be glorified Lord God, as we go. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Don’t Dwell on the Past

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 desert and streams in the wasteland. – (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

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 that dry land. – (Isaiah 43:18-19, ERV)

 

I am so thankful that God does not leave us stagnant and stuck in whatever situation we are in. Our walk with the Lord is a journey. As we traverse this often rocky road, we are not meant to keep our eyes fixed on the rearview mirror, but rather we are to set our sights on what lies before us, assured of Who is with us as we go. Though we may not be able to see what lies just around the bend or over the crest of the mountainous miles ahead, God knows, and His plans for us are good. He makes a way where there seems to be no way, and stretches and strengthens us beyond what we ever thought possible. New in Him, though unknown and unseen, is secure in the sense that He will always remain present, and His provision is promised along our path of obedience. A glimpse of the past to recognize and remember His faithfulness is good, but we must be present to lay hold of the new He has for us today. May we perceive the path You have prepared for us, O Lord; and may we move forward with unwavering faith in You.

 

Let go of the past,

image from lessonslearnedinlife.com

image from lessonslearnedinlife.com

the trials gone by;

instead look ahead,

He hears our heart’s cry.

A new thing to come,

it is springing up;

can you perceive it?

He’s filling your cup.

He’s making a way,

where all seemed but dead;

He’s bringing new life,

to both heart and head.

His streams shall soon flow,

where all things were dry;

hope, life and love grow,

on Christ, let’s rely.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can release the former things, and anticipate the new in You. Thank You that You are continually leading us into the new in You. Thank You that You make a way where there seems to be no way, and that You provide all that we need. Thank You that You make the impossible possible by Your strength. Forgive us for focusing on the obstacles, or on the former things that have hurt us or held us back, and help us to look to You in all things and at all times, knowing that we can do all things through You who give us strength. May we move forward faithfully in trust, as we love as You love us. Let those who are looking find a forever faith in You. Be glorified as we trust You in each step of the new You are calling us to. 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