Seeking Solace

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, NIV)

I ask the Father with His great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you the strength through His Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love – how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, ERV)

And I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, TPT)

 

Paul’s encouragement to the church in Ephesus is still an encouragement that is applicable and relevant to us today. In fact, I had to take pause and recognize my own need to receive his words, as I realized just how much I have been missing my husband, boys, and community at home. It is not that I resent nor regret what I am doing here, as I would not trade this time with my mom for anything. I am overwhelmingly blessed with time that could have been stolen, had things gone differently, and I am witnessing daily, the miracles that come with healing and recovery from a stroke. It is a strange sort of struggle to be pulled between two places. During mom’s waking hours, I am fully engaged and focused on whatever lies before us, and we enjoy our time together, celebrating victories and giggling and the small stuff that comes in the wake of exhaustion and recovery. It is in the quiet moments while mom is resting, or her attention is fixed on a movie, that I am torn and struggle being away from my husband and boys. We talk and text daily, but it is not the same, and all of my guys are loves who are generous with their affection for me. I miss the comfort of their nearness and the easy interactions that take place so often. I know it is just for a season, and the line in the TPT version “the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life”, is the space that I need to seek His solace.

As for mom’s progress from yesterday, she walked farther than she has walked (with a walker and slight assistance), since she had her stroke! For those who have been in mom’s house, she walked up and down her entire hallway. (The length of it is over 30 feet!) What I loved even more, was the recognition of hope that mom found through the process. After Victor, her physical therapist had gone, we sat down in the living room. She looked at me and said, “It really is possible, isn’t it?” I looked at her for a moment, studying her face, and realized that for the first time, she was recognizing that walking again was indeed possible for her. I let her know that we had seen and known the possibility all along, and after today, imagined that it would come even more quickly than we might have originally thought. Hope is a beautiful thing, and I am in awe realizing that despite her not really thinking it was possible to walk again, she was positive and hard-working, loving and kind. We reminded her all along that it was possible, however, I guess she had to physically experience the possibility for herself to understand. Mom was again open and receptive to short visits with a few friends, as she met with one dear one in the morning, and another prior to lunch. Both were wonderful boosts that brought much delight to the day.

I am so thankful that He does strengthen us with His power, out of His glorious riches through His Spirit in our inner being, and He dwells in our hearts through faith. As we are rooted and established in Him, may we together, grasp how great is His love.

 

Dear Father, I pray, Be strong and courageous

From Your vast supply;

You’ll give strength to those,

On You, choose rely.

And by Your Spirit,

Where in hearts Christ dwells;

Grow stronger our faith,

So we trust You well. dsc04451587116784.jpg

Each rooted in love,

Together by grace;

May we understand,

How great all Your ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a loving and gracious God. Thank You that You know and see our need before we are aware of it ourselves. Thank You that You give us strength and grace, hope and love. Forgive us for allowing our fears or frustrations to find footing, rather than releasing all unto You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Provider and Place of Peace. Show us how to love those around us well, so that each may be strengthened, encouraged and find faith that is ready to nourish and grow. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things and at all times, praising You for Your presence. Amen.

 

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

 

May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. – Psalm 119:76

Love Extends

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. – (Ephesians 4:2, ERV)

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – (Ephesians 4:2, TLB)

With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who try your patience. – (Ephesians 4:2, TPT)

 

Love extends patience and acceptance in humility and gentleness, always. We are called to love in the same way that Christ loves each of us. The Lord does not limit His love according to who we are or how we measure up, rather He loves generously, patiently, and accepts us each as we come before Him. So often we fall short of truly walking out our days according to His ways, yet He remains gentle and patient with us, as He lovingly redirects our steps. Our charge, is to do the same. I appreciate the phrasing of The Passions Translation so much, as it is phrased in a way that feels veritably relevant in my world of working with middle school students, who at times, tax my patience. We are called to love as Christ loves us. No limits. No exceptions. To do so requires humility, patience, gentleness and generous love. May we seek the Lord, who in His gentle kindness, loves us so well that we are equipped to go and love likewise.

 

Tender and gentle, Pursue Righteousness and Love

Humble and choose kind;

It’s how we’re to love,

All of human kind.

God’s love is lavish,

Full of patience too;

As we seek His heart,

His love is made new.

So, let us go forth,

And love like the Lord;

May all come to know,

How much they’re adored.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us. Thank You that as we seek You and depend on You, You equip us to love with patience, gentleness and humility. Thank You that Your love can flow through us, if only we are willing. Forgive us for the times that our own agendas or egos have been barriers to bestowing love upon those who needed it most. Teach us to trust and rely on You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love gently and humbly, with patience, even toward those who try our patience the most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to lead us to love in the same way that You so wonderfully love each of us. Amen.

 

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

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  – John 13:34

Forget the Wrongs and Love Right

Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. – (Leviticus 19:18, ERV)

Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God. – (Leviticus 19:18, MSG)

 

It is amazing how applicable the Bible remains. This verse, this command that God gave to Moses to teach to the Israelites so that they might live holy lives, is still completely relevant and applicable today. Human nature wants to hold a grudge or retaliate when we are harmed, yet God instructs us to do otherwise. Our charge is to forgive and love, being mindful that He is God and we are not. Small grievances are fairly simple to forgive and forget, yet the more hurtful and lasting harm is much more difficult give to God and move forward. Forgiving and loving does not always mean running back to the one who did harm, but it does mean that we do not hold the hurt that caused harm, nor stay stuck in the space of sore. We must give God our hurt and frustrations, and seek His direction as to how to forgive and move forward in love. May we ever seek the Lord and His help when we are wronged, and allow Him to show us how to forgive and love, despite our own desire to get even. Just as we have been forgiven, may we too forgive.

 

Do not seek revenge,choose-love1

When people cause hurt;

Instead, seek to love,

Let God show your worth.

For as we forgive,

God creates the space;

For people to see,

The light of His grace.

May we choose let go,

Of wrong people do;

And love as we’re loved,

So hope is made new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we do wrong, You do not seek revenge nor hold a grudge against us. Thank You that You forgive us and love us back to life. Thank You that You are God and we are not. Forgive us for seeking revenge or holding grudges when we are wronged, and teach us to trust You more so that we would forgive as we have been forgiven. Show us how to love others as we love ourselves – not neglecting basic needs and seeking to demonstrate the same love that has been shown so lavishly upon us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we forgive and let go of the wrongs done against us, and choose to love as we are loved by You. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Encourage and Build Up

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT)

So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ERV)

 

Though these were Paul’s words to the church of Thessalonica, they are still are relevant and applicable to us today. We are called to continue to encourage and build each other up, so that we may grow stronger in our faith. God created us for community, and it is in that space of community that we find not only the opportunity to encourage and build others up, but we ourselves are encouraged and built up as well. May we rise up and be ready to look for every occasion that we might encourage and build others up.

 

Rise up, be ready,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For we have been called;

To build others up,

Help faith be installed.

As we encourage,

Choose help others grow;

Both sides are strengthened,

As hope is made known.

For you already,

Are choosing love well;

Continue in faith,

In His will, we’ll dwell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to encourage and build each other up. Thank You that in doing so, we help one another grow stronger in our faith. Thank You that You supply all that we need to do that which You call us to do. Forgive us for neglecting occasions to encourage or build others up. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lay hold of every opportunity and choose to love others as we are loved by You. Show us how to love well, so that our words and deeds encourage and build others up. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we encourage and build others up, just as You do for us. 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

Outward Pressure Inward Transformation

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. – (1 Peter 4:12-13, NLT)

 

“Outward pressure works inward transformation. Rivals reveal the destiny that God has prepared for us.” – (Without Rival, Lisa Bevere) As my book study continues, not only are there fantastic foundational truths that are being reinforced, but there are these great little nuggets that resonate as relevant reminders that whatever we go through – can all be used to further refine us into whom God is calling us to become. We do not grow and change when we are comfortable. It is in the times of trial that we are forced to rise up and cling to Christ, and discover the true strength that He alone can provide. Though we might not enjoy the trying times, they are the very spaces that show us who He is, and how much more we can have of Him. May we seek the Lord in times of trial and of blessing, and recognize that rivals are real ways for God to reveal more of Himself to us and through us as He works within us.

 

Fear not the trials, God Within Her

That happen our way;

For God uses them,

To show us He’ll stay.

Every rival,

God can use for good;

To grow and refine,

His strength understood.

For outward pressure,

Causes change within;

As we lean on Christ,

Glory’s ushered in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that trials transform us into more of who You are calling us to become. Thank You that though we don’t want to endure trials or rivals of any kind, You use them to grow us and raise us up according to Your plan. Forgive us for wanting to run and hide when trials come. Teach us to trust You completely, so that we would seek You and Your strength, to forge forward and face whatever obstacle comes our way, knowing that You will provide whatever we need to continue in the direction to which we are called. Show us how to love, support and encourage those around us, so that they too would keep moving towards all that You have for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to transform us when the pressure is placed upon us. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Drawing Strength from God

Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. – (Ephesians 6:10, TLB)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. – (Ephesians 6:10, NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. – (Ephesians 6:10, VOICE)

 

This is a season where such a reminder is especially relevant. Days are long and demanding, and time to rest is rare. If I attempt to power through my days in my own strength, I grow weary and do not run well. However, when I press into the Lord and seek Him to be my Source and Supply as I choose to do that which I am called to do in this season, He meets me in my need and provides the strength and stamina to stand strong and continue to answer what He is asking. Additionally, He supplies spaces of rest that I would not have anticipated, as He knows my needs far better than I do.

A simple example of His provision came as I woke this morning. Normally, I sleep between four and six hours each night. For me, it is enough, and He supplies all that I need to run strong. That being said, today is a day off, as it is our semester break, and I knew I did not HAVE to wake at a certain time. I set no alarm, and chose to allow my body to wake when it was ready. I naturally woke up at 4am, but decided that perhaps a bit more sleep would be wise. When I woke again, it was 8:30! More than eight and a half hours of sleep in one night… Strength from Him comes in spectacular ways.

May we each remember to draw our strength and might from God, as He is the ultimate Provider, and knows our every need.

 

For all that we need,Believe Instead of Striving

The Lord will supply;

We must look to Him,

In His strength, we rise.

Our God who indwells,

Our hearts and our minds;

Answers as we ask,

What’s needed, supplied.

Let us draw our strength,

From God who’s above;

So we can be strong,

As we walk in love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true strength and might come from You. Thank You that Your strength and power are present within us as we turn to trust in You. Thank You that You provide what we need, so that we may stand strong and continue walking in the direction to which we have been called. Forgive us for attempting to power through things in our own strength; for without You, we fall short and grow weary every time. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our strength and know what we need far better than we do. Show us how to love others well, so that we may build up and encourage those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we draw our strength and might from You. 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

The Word is Alive

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. – (Hebrews 4:12, NLT)

 

Whether we are in need of words of encouragement or correction, God’s word is real and relevant, and the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts as we invest time in reading His word. So often, I am in awe of how timely the truth of His word applies to whatever is going on in my own life. God sees and knows us, individually. No thought, desire, prayer nor concern, escapes the attention of our Savior. Though at times it is a bit unnerving to know we are known, ultimately, we can trust that the motivation is love, and the purpose is to provide the path to His perfect peace, despite the pain and pandemonium that sometimes surrounds us. May we trust in the truth and continue to seek Him, as we allow His Spirit to speak to our hearts through time spent investing in the word.

 

The word of the Lord,The Word of God

Is power, alive;

It shows us the truth,

So that we might thrive.

Sharper than a sword,

It’s used to divide;

His truth from the lies,

Where our fears reside.

He shines forth His light,

And shows us what’s true;

So that we may rise,

By grace, choose push through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is alive and powerful. Thank You that it shows us where we are walking upright before You, and where we are desperately in need of Your correction and redirection. Forgive us for not seeking and asking, or for neglecting to listen and obey, despite knowing the way in which You are calling us to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will invest time in Your word, and listen to Your leading – be it correction or exhortation. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points people to the path that leads to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we invest time in Your word and allow Your Spirit to direct our steps. 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

Remembering to Look Up

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2)

On this Patriot’s Day, as we remember the terrible tragedy that struck the safety of our own soil, we can also recall a time that our nation banded together as a united front, to help the hurting, care well for the courageous that continued to search for the missing, and sought the strength and security that our Savior alone provided. Our help to make sense of something so senseless, could only come as we chose to cling to Christ.

Time has passed, and the new generation of kids I have in my classroom were not even born yet when 9/11 occurred. Many of them, have no personal connection to the event, as they have not traveled beyond the West Coast, or for some, even outside of our state. They have never known life without scanners and security guards at government buildings and hospitals, nor do many have connections to fire fighters, law enforcement officers, or military personnel. History needs to be shared. Each generations ought to be made aware of what has gone before them, so they gain empathy and compassion for those who serve and protect our nation. Today, this verse is more personal, as I lift my eyes to the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, and trust Him to lead and guide me; to show me how to create connections that are relevant and personal for seventh grade students, to an event that occurred prior to their existence. May we each take time to remember the lost, and the lives of those who continue to live with the holes in their hearts all of these years later. Be our help Lord.

Remember the time,911

when tragedy struck;

nation was silenced,

in shock we were stuck.

The world fell silent,

in horror, we watched;

such acts of terror,

and countless lives lost.

The chaos encased,

in great clouds of dust;

everywhere running,

which sense could they trust?

It did not take long,

for heroes to rise;

to search for missing,

help those still alive.

Even days after,

the tragedy fell;

people were praying,

holding hope as well.

Out of the ashes,

came beauty indeed;

people united,

to rise and meet needs.

Let us remember,

the community;

together triumphs,

with trust, unity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we lift our eyes up to You, You are where our help comes from. Thank You that we can trust and depend on You, even on the darkest of days. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Thank You that You alone, can turn tragedy into triumph. Forgive us for allowing tragedy, trials, grief, or our own lack of hope in what we cannot see to keep us from looking to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lift our eyes to You, no matter what comes our way – for You are our Help and our Hope, always. Lead us to love and encourage others, no matter what circumstance life has them in, and may many find their hope forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You to be our Help and our Hope, always. 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