Holding Hidden Hope

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the One who made the promises is reliable. – (Hebrews 10:23, CEB)

So we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps His promises! – (Hebrews 10:23, TPT)

 

God sees, hears and knows the hopes that we are holding deep within our hearts, that feel so far reaching, that we give them little attention or thought. In this space of being present for my mom, my greatest hope and prayer is for her total and complete healing and restored independence in every way. My own desires have taken a back burner, as caring for mom is my top priority in this season. Yesterday, my sister let me know that she would be able to come and be with mom for the latter half of both next week and the following week. For me, this means that I will be heading home to teach the last two days of both next week and the following week, will be home with my husband and children for more than a quick overnight, and will be able to worship alongside dear ones at my own church two weeks in a row. Balance and normalcy after living in a strange sort of isolation for the last two weeks will return. I would not trade the time for anything, as I have had the incredible privilege of watching mom thrive and heal and grow by leaps and bounds in a very short span of time. This is a space of being torn, wanting desperately to be in two places at once. I know that my sister has struggled with the same. Thankfully, modern technology has made it a bit easier with the ability to send videos, Marco Polo, text messaging and phone calls on speaker. All of these things remind us there is hope, and that God is faithful to keep His promises. He will never leave us nor forsake us; EVER!

Mom had another fantastic day yesterday, and her right side is beginning to “wake up”. After a stroke, the muscles are still very much alive; it is the signals to the muscles that have to be reestablished. New pathways are finding connections, and there are new movements to celebrate daily. Interestingly, the messages start reconnecting first in the larger muscles, then work their way down to the smaller. She is able to move her right arm some from her shoulder, and her right leg some from her hip, quad and glute. Continue to pray for the pathways to reconnect every muscle, tendon and fiber within her being. We are ever holding close to the hope that He has rooted deep within us, trusting in His goodness and grace to bring forth His promises to fulfillment.

 

The Lord is faithful,05111905412003377672249863064.jpg

His promises true;

Always beside us,

Our hope He renews.

Trust in His goodness,

Rely on His grace;

For He knows our needs,

And sets all in place.

Even with the hopes,

We dare not give voice;

He hears and honors,

Reason to rejoice.

So, hold onto hope,

God ever shall be;

Faithful to His word,

‘til eternity.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can cling to the hope that we profess, for we know that You are faithful to all that You have promised. Thank You that You show us again and again, evidence of Your goodness and grace; Your incredible love made tangible. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, or for allowing our circumstances to take our eyes off of the hope we know is true in You. Teach us to trust You more, for You are ALWAYS faithful. Show us how to love and encourage those around us in a way that demonstrates Your hope and faithfulness in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cling to the hope we know in You, for You are faithful forever. Amen.

 

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

 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

 

 

Turn Our Attention

So all of you who are holy partners in a heavenly calling, let’s turn our attention to Jesus, the Emissary of God and High Priest, who brought us the faith we profess. – (Hebrews 3:1, VOICE)

 

So, my brothers and sisters, those chosen by God to be His holy people, think about Jesus. He is the one we believe God sent to save us and to be our high priest. – (Hebrews 3:1, ERV)

 

At first glance, it is easy to discount oneself from being considered “holy partners” or “holy people“, lest we remember that it is not through anything on our own, but through the saving grace of Jesus that we choose to embrace that we are called clean and holy before Him. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are able in Him, to do abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine according to His good and perfect will. May we focus our faith on the amazing grace that God has given, and go forth in confidence that we are called and chosen with a plan and a purpose as God’s very own. Let us set our eyes securely on Christ, and listen to His leading.

 

Don’t ever discount,

caught-in-awe-sylvia-carlton

Artwork by Sylvia Carlton

The call of the King;

Our yes to Jesus,

The gift that we bring.

As we come to Him,

He forgives, makes clean;

Calls us His people,

Shows what holy means.

Let’s securely fix,

Our hearts and our eyes;

On Jesus who saves,

And makes our hearts wise.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we invite You to be Lord of our life, we belong to You and are considered partners among those with a heavenly calling. Thank You that as we fix our eyes on Jesus, You show us the way in which we are meant to go. Forgive us for wandering aimlessly without seeking You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your will in all things and at all times, as Your way is always best. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them feel valued and grants a sense of belonging. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the grace that we have been given, and turn our attention to You. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Public Praise

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone. – (Psalm 109:30, NLT)

I give thanks to the Lord. I praise Him in front of everyone. – (Psalm 109:30, ERV)

I will continually give thanks to the Eternal with the praises of my mouth; I will praise Him in the company of many. – (Psalm 109:30, VOICE)

 

In Psalm 109, David is pouring out his heart to the Lord about the harsh treatment that he is receiving at the hands of wicked people. His very first words are words of praise, followed by a call for help. As David presents the pains inflicted upon him at the hands of others, he adds how he has tried to pray. As he continues to unpack the unpleasantries unveiled at the hands of those around him, he calls on the Lord for His faithful love and help. Ultimately, at the end of the Psalm, David gives God his gratitude, and presents praise before all of the people around him. Again, David speaks of the faithful character of God, and how He saves. At the end of the day, David knew that God is good, faithful and loving, and that not only could he call on Him for help, but that the Lord was worthy of praise wherever he went. May we too, share the same sentiment of praise for our God, no matter what comes our way. When we recognize how loving and faithful our Father is for us, we cannot help but present our praise before Him.

 

To the Lord I bring,Believe Instead of Striving

All thanks and all praise;

For He is faithful,

For all of our days.

Before we unpack,

Each place we’re in need;

May we give honor,

To Him who sets free.

Let each heart that’s near,

Hear praise we profess;

So they too may know,

Of His faithfulness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You, no matter what is happening in our lives, and ask for Your help and Your hope. Thank You Lord, that You are faithful and loving, and that You hear our every heart cry. Forgive us for not presenting the praise that is due before You, as You alone are worthy of all of our praise. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would seek You and find You in triumph and in tragedy. Show us how to love with faithfulness and grace, so that those around us see the light of Your love through all that we say and do. Let our very lives bring praise unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give thanks to You and praise You before all people. 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

Mercy Wins

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that set us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time. – (James 2:12-13, MSG)

 

If our words and deeds do not reflect that which we profess, we are inviting judgment upon ourselves. God sent His Son to show us the way in which we are meant to live. Jesus modeled a life of mercy, love and grace to those around Him, and we are called to do likewise. This is not something that we are expected to do in our own wisdom nor strength, but it is by His goodness and grace that we are able to go forth and give the very things that we have been given. May we use our days to extend kindness and grace, so that the magnitude of God’s mercy can be made evident through our words and deeds.

 

Go forth in kindness,Who is My Neighbor 2

As we have been called;

For mercy is seen,

When offered to all.

Help us treat others,

As You so love us;

So people might see,

The hope in Jesus.

Kindness always wins,

As judgment repels;

Let us move in grace,

And love like Christ well.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to act kindly and to be merciful. Thank You that You equip and empower us to do the same when we seek You for strength. Forgive us for the times that we have not been kind or merciful to those who needed it most. Teach us to turn to You in those moments when kindness and grace are the furthest things from what we desire to give, so that we may act according to Your will, not our own. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that our kindness and mercy move hearts to look to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your strength and guidance to speak and act according to Your mercy and grace, so that we may move in kindness wherever we go. Amen.

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

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

Treasure to Share

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. – (Romans 10:10, NIV)

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. – (Romans 10:10, NLT)

Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in Him, and so we are saved. – (Romans 10:10, ERV)

 

Our salvation is not dependent on what we do, but rather by what we believe. What we believe is formed through the truth that we hear, which compels us to go forth and profess the same truth that brought us to this place of knowing that we are made right with God, so that others too, may come to know the amazing grace that saves. May we be so flooded with the revelation of His goodness and grace that has justified us before Him, that we go forth and extend His heart to all whom we encounter.

 

Salvation’s a gift,butterflies

granted by God’s grace;

to those who believe,

what they’ve heard, by faith.

It’s that very faith,

that stirs hearts declare;

the truth we’ve received,

and hope we now share.

Let each heart lay hold,

of God’s saving grace;

as we choose declare,

this hope we embrace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that salvation is a gift that You freely give to us – that we cannot earn it, but rather we must choose to believe to receive it. Thank You that as we receive what You have given, our hearts cannot hold the overwhelming grace that we have been granted, and we are compelled to share this glorious gift with those around us. Forgive us for keeping You to ourselves, and teach us how to profess our faith to others through our words and deeds in a way that demonstrates the loving kindness that You give to each of us. Show us how to love as we are loved. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace what You have freely given, and profess to others, the treasure that is ours to share. 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

Thankful in All Circumstances

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

No matter what comes, we have reason to give thanks to God. Our gratitude ought not be dependent on our circumstances, but rather on who God is, and that we belong to Him. When we are able to express gratitude in the midst of difficulties, our witness to the world is far more powerful. Anyone can profess praise when times are good, but it is only by the grace of God that we are able to truly have a thankful heart when times are tough. May we begin each day with a heart full of thanks, regardless of what we face; for God is good and we are walking in His will when we choose to give our gratitude unto Him.

No matter what comes,Doing Good Mutes Malicious Talk

let our hearts give praise;

endless offering,

for all of our days.

Because we belong,

to the Lord of all;

in each circumstance,

may we heed His call.

We’re called to give thanks,

because God is good;

and when we do so,

His truth’s understood.

All thanks be to God,

our Savior and King;

to whom we belong,

with grateful hearts, sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for every moment that You grant us in this life, no matter what it includes. Thank You that You do not waste even one second, even the painful ones, for those who belong to You. Thank You that You show us more of You through every circumstance we encounter. When there is blessing, we see Your generosity. When there is struggle, we see Your comfort and provision that comes at just the right moment. Thank You that every circumstance is used to draw us closer to You. Forgive us for not taking every opportunity given to offer our gratitude unto You, for in You we have our life and breath and very being. Teach us to trust You more, so that thanks and praise become a natural outpouring from our hearts, each time we come before You or mention Your Name. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may see that all blessings flow from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose gratitude in all circumstances because we belong to You. 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

Hold Hope – He’s Faithful

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23)

 

To hold unswervingly is to not allow anything to drive us away from that which we know to be true. Our hope that we profess is life eternal with our Savior. For Jesus did not come so that we could just get by, but rather He came, lived, died and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father, so that He could send His Holy Spirit to be present with us; faithful both now and forever. May we hold fast to the hope we have in Christ, no matter what comes our way; for He who promised, is faithful to fulfill every spoken word.

 

May we ever grow,

image from quotespictures.com

image from quotespictures.com

in our walk with God;

so that we hold fast,

and with hope, we trod.

Let our mouths profess,

His promises too;

for Christ is faithful,

what He says, He’ll do.

As we keep moving,

forward with the Lord;

doubts are set aside,

through grace He affords.

Where wisdom was not,

God graciously gives;

for His will’s for all,

to believe and live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we may hold unswervingly to the hope we have in You; for You are faithful to all that You have promised. Thank You that Your faithfulness is not dependent on us, but rather is because of who You are. Forgive us for allowing the trials and tribulations of life to deter our eyes from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we hold fast to our hope in You, no matter what comes our way. Lead us to love others with Your loving kindness, so that they too, may come to know the hope that is held forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to the hope we profess, and rest assured that You are faithful to all that You have promised. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

No Need to Argue

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. – (2 Timothy 2:23)

 

Rather than engage in trivial arguments or debates, we are called to be kind and gentle, patient and courteous, and speak the truth always. This requires us to listen before we speak, and to use wisely the words we choose allow to escape our lips. Let truth be told, but through the lens of love that draws others in so that they may want to hear what we have to say. Not engaging in arguments is just one example of how we can align our living with what we profess to be true. Respectful and honest discussion is good and beneficial, but anything that produces fuel to fight, is not the sort of conversation that we are called to carry out. May we choose our words wisely, ever speaking the truth in love in a way that others may see Christ in us, and desire to pursue that which we already have.

 

Allow not our words,Tether Our Hearts

be foolish, unkind;

for arguments are,

engaged with the blind.

Rather let our words,

be gentle and kind;

as we listen well,

may lost seek to find.

Let the words we speak,

offer love and life;

peace to the hearer,

an ending to strife.

As the truth is told,

through life we’re living;

what we have professed,

removes misgivings.

May we choose be light,

as we extend love;

without arguing,

through Christ’s call above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to steer clear of foolish and stupid arguments, as they produce nothing productive for Your kingdom. Thank You that You instead call us to be gentle and kind, patient and courteous, as we share the truth through mutual respect and care for one another. Forgive us for engaging in quarrels or foolish arguments, and help us to trust You more, so that we would seek to listen first, before we ever choose to open our mouths to speak. Lead us to love others with words and actions that bring light and life, just as You illuminate our darkness and grant us eternal hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified Lord God, as we choose to not engage in foolish arguments, but rather invest in conversations that create opportunities for the truth to be made known. Amen.

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

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

The Works Required

Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” – (John 6:28-29)

 

God does not have a laundry list of works that we must perform in order to qualify to come to Him. The only “requirement” that He has, is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will be saved. When we know Christ, we invest in our relationship with Him. As we grow in His wisdom and grace, we are compelled to serve Him. More than anything else, God wants our hearts. He longs for us to seek Him with all that we are, trusting that He is who He says He is. When we believe, we are doing the work that He requires. May we go forth in boldness, confident in the truth that our lives profess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

 

Oh Lord, here I am,Confidence in Christ

I humbly ask;

what do You require?

Lead me to the task.

All that the Lord wants,

a heart that is true;

that believes in Him,

faithful to pursue.

One that seeks His face,

all throughout the day;

who trusts He is Lord,

the Truth, Light and Way.

Help me be faithful,

in all that I do;

with my heart and mind,

fixed wholly on You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not require us to do enough nor be enough to somehow qualify for Your kingdom. Thank You that You receive us as we come, when we believe. Thank You that faith is not something that we can muster on our own, but rather is a gift that You grow within us as we pursue You and trust You more. Forgive us for attempting to earn Your favor, or feeling like we somehow need to work for that which You freely give. Help set our hearts right so that the works we do are out of a heart of gratitude, not out of obligation. Lead us to love well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship this season with You. Be glorified O God, as we offer our gifts of gratitude unto You. 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

Fortitude Found in Faith

Fortitude Found in Faith
Therefore, dear siblings,

we have confidence;

our sins may be washed,

by His innocence.

He opened the way,

tore curtain in two;

became our High Priest,

showed us what to do.

May we all draw near,

with a sincere heart;

assurance in faith,

our sin set apart.

Our hearts now are cleansed,

guilt has been removed;

our bodies are washed,

through Christ, we’re approved.

Let us hold to hope,

we boldly profess;

trusting in Jesus,

Who grants righteousness.

Spur one another,

toward love and good deeds;

looking through His eyes,

to see others needs.

(Responding to Hebrews 10:19-24)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for granting us access to You through the sacrifice of Your Son. Thank You that as we embrace, by faith, what You have done for us, we are cleansed and all of our guilt is washed away. Teach us to trust in Your goodness, holding onto our hope in You. May our lives profess Your goodness and grace, and may we show others, in love, the hope held in Your embrace. May many come to know You as Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

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