We Belong to Each Other

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – (Romans 12:4-5, NIV)

Each one of us has one body, and that body has many parts. These parts don’t all do the same thing. In the same way, we are many people, but in Christ we are all one body. We are the parts of that body, and each part belongs to all the others. – (Romans 12:4-5, ERV)

For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too – the many – are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone. – (Romans 12:4-5, VOICE)

 

Both my Viking and I sat in awe and wonder as we reflected on the variety of friends and family that had joined us to gather to celebrate our new life together yesterday. There were educators and police officers, medical professionals, business people, football friends and childhood treasures, church family and those that have been family since birth – it was wonderful to see the evidence of how each has touched our lives and helped us become together, what we could not be on our own. God is good, and He blesses us with a body of people who have a variety of gifts and talents, so that together, we are able to become what He intends for us. May we ever embrace those whom God places in our lives and give Him praise for the gift that they are to us.

 

Just as we’ve a body, wp-15352968608005978420073665084020.jpg

That has many parts;

So too, we have people,

With strengths and great hearts.

Each with different gifts,

Talents meant to share;

Love and laughter to give,

Not things to compare.

All thanks unto the Lord,

Who grants by His grace;

Treasured variety,

By His loving ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace that grants us community that is varied in people who have different gifts, talents and life experience to speak into our lives. Forgive us for not treasuring the gifts in others as much as You do. Teach us to see others through Your eyes, so that we would recognize and appreciate the strengths, talents and gifts that You have given to those around us. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we too, may utilize the strengths and talents You have placed in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to see and appreciate others through Your eyes, and to utilize what You have given to us for Your purposes. Amen.

 

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

 

One who loves a pure heart and speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. – Proverbs 22:11

Our Thoughts Control Our Life

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, ERV)

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. – (Proverbs 4:23, VOICE)

 

The thoughts we hold in our heart determine the direction that we take in life. If we hold onto negativity or fear or frustration, each step that we take is weighed down by the heaviness we are holding. However, if we guard our hearts and listen and trust in His word of truth, our burdens lessen and we are better able to stay the course to which we have been called. Obstacles will always stand before us, yet if we move forward with our eyes open and our hearts fixed on He who is greater, the challenges will not determine our direction; the path that has already been presented will continue to propel us to progress in the life to which we are being led. May we ever guard our hearts and minds, fixing all securely on our Savior; for in Him, we find safe harbor and a course that has been set for us to successfully navigate with Him.

 

Let us guard our hearts,

dsc04505_15206094506862101700142.jpg

photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

Above other things;

For the thoughts we think,

Impact our blessings.

As we are weighed down,

Fixed on weight we bear;

We miss so much good,

That God has to share.

Protect heart and mind,

For good things shall come;

Our path is made plain,

When we seek the Son.

The blessings in life,

All good things that flow;

Are from God to us,

As we seek to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we guard our hearts and place our trust in You, You lead us on a course that is far greater than we could have hoped or imagined. Thank You that though trials and difficulties will come, as we fix our eyes on You, rather than the challenge, You lead us on and carry us through. Forgive us for not guarding our hearts from the heaviness that life can bring. Teach us to trust You more, so that we do not get weighed down by the difficulties and instead rise up in Your strength to press on. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we may extend Your goodness, strength and grace to help others navigate the course to which You are calling them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we guard our hearts and fix our eyes on You; for with You, good and noble things light the path to which we are called to walk.

 

© 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

Maintenance in the Midst of Our Messiness

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. – (Psalm 51:10, NLT)

God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again. – (Psalm 51:10, ERV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. – (Psalm 51:10, VOICE)

 

My heart feels a bit messy. It is not anything in particular, but rather a collection of things that simply build up and begin to get the best of me. I rarely get sick, and am currently attempting to fend off some sort of sinus infection, and know that my resistance is down. The little things that I typically brush off, are wearing, and I know that much of my present heart state, is the overflow of my physical well-being. This, this is where I must run to Him again, and pray this prayer, as the crud that is building needs to be cleansed as only Christ can do. As He washes away the things that wear me down, a renewed sense of His strength returns and I am better equipped to navigate my days. May we each seek the Lord and His cleansing to wash away that which wears us down, and trust in His strength to renew us once again.

 

Oh Lord, here I stand,Clean Inside Out

Seeking only You;

For I am in need,

Of what You can do.

I need a clean heart,

A spirit made new;

Your strength breathed in me,

Help me lean on You.

Restore unto me,

Your strength and Your song;

So that I am clean,

Resilient and strong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our prayers. Thank You that You cleanse us and restore a strong spirit within us when we seek You. Thank You that this is not something that we need to figure out how to do on our own, but rather it is as we come to You, that we find the new. Forgive us for allowing life to wear us down without taking the time to rest in You. Show us how to seek You and trust You for all that we need from moment to moment, rather than just when we begin to reach our breaking point. Help us to love those around us well, so that we can extend the love and grace that gives Your strength to all those in need. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to You for cleansing, strength and restoration, often, as You never turn us away. 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

Guard Your Heart

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, ERV)

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. – (Proverbs 4:23, VOICE)

 

What we see, hear, think and take in, ultimately determine how we navigate our lives. When we take in garbage, garbage is what comes out of us. However, when we choose to invest wisely in the things that we allow in to take root, then it is those very things that are established and grown within us, and in time, become the things that flow out of us. May we seek the Lord with sincere hearts, allowing Him and His word to be what fills our hearts and minds so that good and noble things can be the outpouring of our lives.

 

Guard your heart above,Generous Giving

All things in this life;

For true protection,

Saves our days from strife.

For where this life leads,

Our hearts will too, go;

So how we invest,

Matters for our growth.

When what we have sought,

Is pure and is good;

Such things flow from us,

Through grace understood.

The course of this life,

Determined by choice;

Trust in the Lord’s good,

May our hearts rejoice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You for help, You provide what we need to guard our hearts and protect what we take in, so that what comes out of us is pleasing to You. Forgive us for allowing garbage in, as we have not been diligent to guard our hearts as we should. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times, to watch over our hearts and keep us protected from the things that would take us down a road to ruin. Show us how to love with a sincere and pure heart, so that others can see You through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we guard our hearts and seek to honor You. 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

 

A Command to Love

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. – (1 Timothy 1:5, NIV)

 

In this passage, Paul was giving Timothy instruction as to how to stand firm in the faith. Paul’s instruction was received well by Timothy because Paul had proven his heart toward him and his fellow believers over time. Love had been made evident over time, and the instructions were delivered from one with a good conscience, sincere faith and a heart that had been made pure by that which Christ had done. We are called to do likewise. It is our charge – His command to us – to love. The only way that we can truly do this is if we love as He has loved us. When we submit ourselves to Christ, He purifies our hearts, cleanses our conscience from any unrighteousness, and grows us in sincere faith. It is from this space of submission, that we are able to fulfill the goal of the greatest command – to love. May we choose to receive that which He has given unto us, and go forth and do the same to all whom we encounter.

 

The greatest command,Purposeful Prayer

that we have been told;

instructs us to love,

all whom we behold.

Not just those we choose,

but all whom come in;

as Christ’s beloved,

treat all as if kin.

From a heart that’s pure,

and conscience that’s clean;

with a sincere faith,

show all what love means.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You do not first demonstrate and then equip us to do. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who came and showed us how to love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Thank You Jesus, for Your sacrifice so that we could become pure and acceptable before God because of what You have done for us. Forgive us for not recognizing the remarkable work that You did on our behalf on the cross to make us acceptable before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive that which we have been freely given, and would then go forth and do likewise in love. Help us to love others well, as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to obey Your call on our lives to love others well from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Amen.

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

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

 

 

Where Boasting Belongs

“Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.” What people say about themselves means nothing. What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well. – (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, ERV)

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. – (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, NIV)

Anything good that we happen to accomplish, is only done because of Christ in us. For us to boast about our accomplishments, is to take credit for what God has done in and through us. It is far better to give credit where credit is due. All glory and honor go to God for every good and perfect gift. If we have walked in obedience to what He has called us to do, then it is the Lord who will let us know we have done well. We need not seek the approval of men, for that is how pride begins. May we seek to serve the Lord with a pure heart, and give God the glory for any good that comes from the grace that He has given us to go and do that which we have been asked to do.

Boast not of oneself,Presenting Our Praise

but point to the Lord;

for anything good,

through grace He affords.

Let us choose instead,

to walk out our days;

in obedience,

giving God the praise.

For a day will come,

when we stand before;

the Lord God on high,

we’re welcomed to more.

Our God wants our hearts,

and our praises too;

may we point to Him,

give credit where due.

We could do nothing,

without the Lord’s grace;

so let’s boast of Him,

may love come embrace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the One in whom we ought to boast; for anything good that is accomplished in or through us, is done by You. Thank You for all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do. Forgive us for not giving You the glory for things that You have done, or for boasting of what we somehow think that we have accomplished on our own. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize the remarkable grace, strength and supply that You provide us, daily, to do all that You call us to accomplish. Lead us to love others as You so selflessly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give proper credit due, as all praise and glory belong to You. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Run From Ruin

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. – (2 Timothy 2:22)

 

In a culture that tells us, “if it feels good, go for it,” those who call on Christ and want to walk in His ways, are to take a different path. We are called to a higher standard. While most are simply pursuing pleasure, our charge is to run after righteousness; to follow that which God has for us, and to turn away from that which He does not. To flee the evil desires of youth, is to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. If we know a place or a group of people that create in us a propensity to sin, then we are to flee and avoid the situation, so that we may remain upright before our Father in Heaven.

 

As we pursue what is right according to Christ, we will grow in faith and love; experiencing His peace, as He purifies our hearts. He does not call us to walk this road alone, but rather to walk beside others too, who are seeking to answer all that He is asking. May we flee from that which is evil in the eyes of the Lord, and pursue passionately, all that He has for us.

 

Flee from all evil,Run From Ruin

pursue righteousness;

call out to Jesus,

to show which way’s best.

As we choose follow,

His path, and not ours;

faith, love and His peace,

find home in our hearts.

Do not walk alone,

but rather invest;

in those seeking,

to follow His best.

For on this rough road,

we best navigate;

when we’re surrounded,

and don’t isolate.

Shoulder to shoulder,

we shall rise above;

the world’s temptations,

as we walk in love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we run from that which leads us into temptation and pursue the things of You, You grow our faith, overwhelm us with Your lavish love, and help us to know Your peace – even in places where peace seems impossible. Thank You that You take us as we are, and refine us, creating in us, hearts that are pure and acceptable before You, by the power of Your goodness and grace. Forgive us for allowing ourselves entry into toxic situations or scenarios, and grant us wisdom so that we will flee from the spaces that suck us into sin. Thank You that You are merciful and loving, and that You do not allow us to stay in such spaces, but rather You correct and redirect so that we may follow You with all that we are. Thank You that You do not call us to walk this road alone, but rather You created us for relationships. Thank You that we are called to walk beside one another, shoulder to shoulder, to hold one another up, encourage and challenge each other in love. May many come to know the peace that is found in You alone, as they seek to find faith in You. Let our love extended through hearts You have purified, reflect Your radiance to the world. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

This is Amazing Grace

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,This is Amazing Grace

the world, and all who live in it;

for He founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?

Who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

who does not lift up his soul to an idol

or swear by what is false.

He will receive blessing from the Lord

and vindication from God his Savior.

Such is the generation of those who seek Him,

who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

be lifted up, you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord is strong and mighty,

the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;

lift them up, you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is He, this King of glory?

The Lord Almighty –

He is the King of glory.”

– (Psalm 24)

Some days, the process of selecting just one verse or a small passage of scripture, seems to come easily.  However, today, my heart seemed to hold onto the entire Psalm.  As I read and reread this passage, wondering what I was meant to take away for today, a song that we sing in church, kept going through my mind.  After a few minutes of a rather frustrating search on Youtube, I remembered enough of the lyrics to come up with the actual title and a link.  (This is Amazing Grace, by Phil Wickham)  The following are the lyrics to This Is Amazing Grace:

Who breaks the power of sin and darknessThis is Amazing Grace 2

Whose love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace

This is unfailing love

That You would take my place

That You would bear my cross

You would lay down Your life

That I would be set free

Jesus, I sing for

All that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order

Who makes the orphan a son and daughter

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who rules the nations with truth and justice

Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Amazing grace,This is Amazing Grace 3

unfailing love;

He took our place,

the Lord above.

No greater gift,

we’ll ever know;

our praise to lift,

each heart aglow.

Let on this day,

declared for love;

our life point way,

to God above.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is unfailing, and Your grace – amazing.  Thank You that You created such beauty in the world around us, and provided the way for all who come to You, to dwell with You forever.  Forgive us for not giving proper praise where all praise unto You, is due.  Help us to recognize the magnitude of Your glory, so that we might live accordingly.  Teach us to trust You completely, and to love as we are loved by You.  May we reach out and care for the lost and the lonely, as You so tenderly care for us.  May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we walk in obedience unto You.  Let all that we say and do, bring glory and honor unto 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

Glory to the Giver

Glory to the GiverTo humble oneself,

is not to put down;

let not comparing,

determine our crown.

For it matters not,

our state verses men;

but rather to Christ,

who was without sin.

Let exaltation,

be given to God;

for there is none else,

deserving such laud.

Recognize the gifts,

He has placed in you;

be obedient,

let purpose ensue.

Serve with a pure heart,

and offer Him praise;

our purpose in Christ,

should direct our days.

Place all trust in God,

for His word is true;

all of creation,

He’s granted to you.

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – (Luke 14:11)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not compare us to one another, but rather, when we are in You, You view us through the covering of Your Son – considering us sons and daughters whom You call worthy and loved. Thank You that You grant good gifts to each of us, and allow us to learn and grow in how we might honor You with all that You’ve given. Thank You that Jesus is our perfect example of how we are to walk in humility. He did not elevate Himself, nor neglect those in need; yet He was bold and undeterred in answering Your call, even unto the cross. Please forgive us for comparing ourselves to each other, and for not honoring the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Teach us to view ourselves with proper perspective, as we are all sinners, saved by grace alone. Help us to move mightily wherever You call us to walk, and may many come to know You as Lord of their lives as we live out our purpose, loving well with the gifts You have given. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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