Help and Hope Realized

I am praying to You because I know You will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. – (Psalm 17:6, NLT)

Every time I call to You, God, You answer me. So listen to me now, and hear what I say. – (Psalm 17:6, ERV)

I am crying aloud to You, O True God, for I long to know Your answer. Hear me, O God. Hear my plea. Hear my prayer for help. – (Psalm 17:6, VOICE)

 

David, in the midst of his struggles with Saul, cried out to God, asking to be heard as he remembered and trusted in His faithfulness. Though I am not in a season of struggle, and am standing in the dawn of a new day that marks the beginning of a brand-new school year, I cannot help but have a heavy heart for so many that surround us with fires blazing throughout my state and those that surround us, as well as the devastation that has befallen those in the path of Hurricane Harvey and those threatened by the impending landfall of Irma. May we pray as David did, and call on the Lord for help, trusting that He hears our cries and will show us what we are meant to do.

 

O Lord, we cry out, Fire Map

Trusting that You hear;

We know You’ll answer,

Your love for us, clear.

Bend down and listen,

O God, hear our cries;

So many in need,

Bring help to these lives.

Show us what to do,

To see through Your eyes;

So help and Your hope,

Are soon realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can pray to You and be heard. Thank You that You bend down from heaven to hear our prayer and listen to our cries. Thank You that You are our help and our hope in all things and at all times. Forgive us for doing nothing when we are overwhelmed with the weight of the need that surrounds us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would step up and do one small thing at a time, as even the small things matter to the one who receives. Show us how to love well, all those around us in practical ways, so that they might see Your heart through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray to You, trusting You to hear and answer us. Amen.

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

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

Transformational Times

When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshipped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” – (Luke 23:47, NLT)

 

This statement by the Roman officer was extremely significant, as it was his response after overseeing the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. He had observed each nail driven into His hands and feet, each insult hurled at Jesus as He hung in pain, and ultimately, he heard the words of Jesus as the world went dark for several hours that day, as Christ called out, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)  Firsthand, this soldier who had carried out the orders to crucify Christ, could see for himself, that there had been no justifiable reason to take the life of the innocent man hanging on the cross before him. Something about what he had observed through the process, helped open his eyes to the glory of God, as the Roman officer responded by worshipping the Lord and declaring the innocence of Christ. When they say there is power in the cross, it is incredible how soon it began. First with the criminal that hung beside Jesus who recognized that He did not deserve to die and asked to be remembered, and then one of the leaders of the Roman regime. The power present to move those two men from death to life on that very day, is still alive and active now. Jesus rose and ascended to the right hand of the Father, so that His Spirit could dwell among us. The very same power that brought life from death, is available and able to save us now. If we come to the Lord, call on His Name, and place our trust in Him, His presence is ours, and we have the hope of life everlasting in Him. May we allow the power of the presence of the living God to transform us from the inside out.

 

The power of God,Transformational Times

Is mighty to save;

For this is the One,

Who conquered the grave.

He brings us to life,

When we choose to come;

Place our heart in Him,

Where freedom is won.

Free from all our chains,

Of past sin and scorn;

Where hope and new life,

In Him, we’re reborn.

New start without stains,

All grace is now ours;

Made new by His love,

His hope empowers.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to live and love and sacrifice, so that we could have life everlasting in You. Thank You for the incredible things that Jesus did, even as He hung on the cross to impact the lives of those around Him. Forgive us for thinking that we cannot do anything in the midst of our circumstances when things are difficult. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be receptive to all that You have for us – both for and through us as we walk out our days in faith. Show us how to love others as You love us, regardless of what is going on in our own lives. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You to work in and through us at all times to touch those around us. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Honest Answers

An honest answer is like a warm hug. – (Proverbs 24:26, MSG)

A straight answer is as precious as a kiss on the lips. – (Proverbs 24:26, VOICE)

 

At first, I wondered why honesty and intimacy were being compared. However, it took but a moment to realize that without honesty, intimacy cannot exist. We do not hug people that we do not trust, not do we want, allow, nor value a kiss from anyone whom we cannot trust at their word. How we answer, what we say, and the weight of our words matter. When asked, an honest response will be remembered. Trust takes root and grows as honesty is shown. However, the opposite holds true as well. If we are not honest in our answering, trust cannot exist, and relationships will remain fractured. May we choose to answer honestly in all things, allowing truth to establish trust and warmth in all those around us.

 

To answer in truth,The Direction of Discipline

Is to create trust;

Forever needed,

Relational must.

In love and in life,

Wherever we go;

Trust must be built up,

So friendships can grow.

As sweet as a kiss,

Straight answers received;

For the heart’s made known,

And trust is achieved.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us first that we can trust You. Thank You that You bring people into our lives that are trustworthy, and that by Your Spirit in us, we can be the same. Forgive us for the times that we have not given straight answers, or have chosen to stay silent when we should have spoken. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give the honest answers that establish trust and intimacy with all those around us. Show us how to love others well, so that they would see You in and through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to establish trust through honesty in all of our interactions. 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

Our Refuge and Shield

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)
Whenever I walk into something new, I have to spend a bit of time as an observer. Last evening’s arrival at camp was no exception. Initially, I felt as if I had been set in a sea of extroverts, a bit fearful of how I was to stay afloat; as I am far more reserved than many. As the evening unfolded, I remembered why I am here. It is not about me and my comfort, it is about loving and growing kids well. God is my refuge and my shield, and I need only look out the back door of my dwelling for the week to be reminded of Who provides my hope and my strength, and daily I seek the truth through His word. He is good, and I cannot wait to see how the week unfolds. Time off the grid in His creation, focused on His presence, is a gift. May I embrace it well. 
Our refuge and shield, 

 The Lord, He is good;

All hope we can place,

In Him, understood. 

The truth of His word,

Shall lead and shall guide;

The way we’re to go,

On Him, choose rely. 

All peace and all grace,

Come from Him alone;

May we choose to trust,

Let His hope be known. 


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and our shield. Thank You that we can place our hope in Your word. Forgive us for failing to do so, as we allow our own fears and insecurities to get in the way. Make us fearless for You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that our lives would point their hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our refuge and shield, and place our hope in Your word. Amen. 
Taste and see that The Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Faithful to Move the Fallen Forward

David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart. This is not because he always did everything right in the eyes of the Lord, but rather it was his relentless pursuit of redemption and restoration, even when he had done wrong in the sight of the Lord. He knew that all that he had was a gift from God, and was not at all what he deserved. David’s attitude of gratitude is expressed over and over in the Psalms, and his willingness to praise publicly and put aside his position of prestige, proved to the people that God alone, was deserving of all worship and praise.

 

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far?” – (1 Chronicles 17:16)

 

David approached God from a position of humility, despite being king. His beginnings as a shepherd boy were not forgotten, nor was the Lord’s faithfulness that had brought him through the trials and tribulations that led to his long before predicted position of leadership. Just as David took time to reflect on all that the Lord had done in his life thus far, so too we ought to do likewise. When we look back and reflect upon all that the Lord has done, we cannot help but stand in awe of His love and faithfulness granted unto us. Even if we are in the midst of messiness, we have previous examples and present provisions, that prove to us that He is for us, and that His promises shall stand the test of time. May we remember the Lord’s faithfulness forever, and look forward with faith in the Lord’s goodness and grace that He grants to all who call on His Name.

 

Lord, help us recall,External Appearance

all that You have done;

to bring us this far,

O Great Holy One.

For You Lord, are good,

Your love will endure;

despite that which comes,

Your faithfulness sure.

Help us move forward,

with trust that’s secure;

thank You for Your grace,

and presence so near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we are in our journey with You right now, we can look back and see that You have brought us a great distance from where we once were. Thank You that You are faithful to transform, renew and restore us, as You lead us forward into the promise of all that You have planned for us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us from moving forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may quickly recall all that You have done for us before, raising up in our hearts, a renewed strength and sense of purpose that will propel us forward toward who You are calling us to become. Lead us to love others with the same tender and relentless love that You have given to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember how far You have brought us, and lead us to move boldly forward into what we are to become. 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

Waiting On a Promise

Moses is remembered as a mighty man of faith, yet his journey between the promise and its fulfillment, was not an easy one.  It all began well, as God appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and spoke to him personally.  God told him He had heard the cries of his people, and that “He had come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.” – (Exodus 3:8) 

What God next told Moses, however, brought up Moses’ own insecurities, and made him question God.  God told Moses that He was sending him to Pharaoh to bring His people out of Egypt, so Moses started asking questions.  At first, the questions seemed practical and reasonable, yet soon, they revealed his own insecurities about his ability to speak publicly.  In fact, Moses then said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” – (Exodus 4:13) God was none too pleased with Moses’ response, yet chose to answer his request by allowing his brother, Aaron, to partner with him in this endeavor.

Once Moses and Aaron had met up, and Aaron too had heard the charge from God, they went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord had asked them to do.  Pharaoh did not exactly agree to what they asked.  In fact, it seemed as if the promise that had been spoken, was even farther off than it had been prior to their powwow with Pharaoh.  “Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people?  Is this why you sent me?” – (Exodus 5:22)

Isn’t it easy for us to do the same thing?  A promise is spoken, or a dream discovered, and we expect the fulfillment – the fruition to be found – immediately.  Often, there is a long and arduous road in between a promise and it’s fulfillment.  Our character is shaped and developed, as we overcome obstacles and learn to trust Him more.  As we learn from the Israelites, grumbling in said deserts, often delays the promise all the more…

A promise spoken,Waiting On a Promise

the birth of a dream;

hope that is chosen,

God’s blessing, it’d seem.

Then comes the waiting,

and patience grows dim;

weariness finds us,

don’t let darkness in.

The doubt and the fear,

lay each of them down;

fix eyes on the Lord,

where fulfillment’s found.

Despite what is seen,

continue to trust;

for what He has said,

will be done for us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to do what You say You will do.  Thank You that Your timing is not our timing, nor Your ways, our ways.  Thank You that You are patient and kind, and that You lovingly lead us where You call us to go, even if it takes years of wandering in the desert to reach the promised place of peace.  Forgive us for our doubts, fears, and our grumbling, and help us to trust completely, despite what we see.  Make us aware of Your persistent presence, and help us to be satisfied in knowing that You are at work in us.  May we live in faith and love with trust, so that others may see You in us.  Let those who are looking, come to know You as their Savior, soon.  Be glorified, even in our waiting.  Amen.

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