Our Greatest Treasures

For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. – (Matthew 6:21, NIV)

Your heart will be where your treasure is. – (Matthew 6:21, ERV)

The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. – (Matthew 6:21, MSG)

The older I get, the more I find that my treasure is in God and all that He has made. Stuff is just stuff, but salvation, relationships, people, pets, and community are truly the greatest gifts we have been given. When I focus my time and energy on Him and those that He has placed in my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude, not want. The things that matter to me are not ones of monetary value, but rather are either gifts or reminders of those who matter most. I understand now why photos have always been so important to my mom. Each snapshot is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in a moment in time that was captured. To look at the images is to be reminded that God is good. May we ever look to the Lord with thanksgiving and seek Him to help keep our priorities in order so that our treasures are eternal, and not temporary.

Lord, help us treasure,

That which is from You;

Life and creation,

Eternity too.

May our hearts choose hold,

All of our lives through;

Treasures from heaven,

That point us to You.

Show us Your own heart,

All that matters most;

Lead us in Your love,

Through grace, peace and hope.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our greatest treasure and that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Forgive us for the times that we have been more concerned with stuff than with that which matters eternally. Teach us to have a heart after You. Lead us in Your love so that we would treasure You and Your created, as these are the things that last. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your heart known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize our greatest treasures are found in You and from You. Amen.

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

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Joy and Laughter

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – (Job 8:21, NIV)

So perhaps you might laugh again. Maybe shouts of joy will come from your lips. – (Job 8:21, ERV)

He will fill your mouth with laughter; your lips will spill over into cries of delight. – (Job 8:21, VOICE)

Though Job’s friends were not the greatest at responding to the devastation and loss that he had experienced, this verse was spot on, as in the end, all that Job had lost was restored and then some. Joy and laughter were restored after such heartache, trials, and loss. Last evening, as my love and I attended his sister’s annual Christmas party, we were both in a space where laughter was needed. Gathering with family and friends, we were able to enjoy the company, love and laughter that burst forth when dear ones get together. There was much laughter, and the joy that dwells deep within, was reminded to surface. Today, I anticipate more laughter and reasons to shout for joy, as we will gather with our church family, and after, I will have the pleasure of time together with dear ones from college group that I met a few decades ago. I am so thankful for the opportunities God brings to grant us laughter and to remind us of the joy we have in and through Him. The people He places in our lives grant us reason to delight.

The gift of laughter,

Reminds us that joy;

An ongoing gift,

That love does employ.

For time together,

With laughter and love;

Show us God’s goodness,

His grace understood.

Trial or triumph,

God’s joy is the same;

Found in the blessings,

As we call His Name.

Joy’s not dependent,

On our circumstance;

It’s found in Jesus,

Not by happenstance.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what is going on around us or what lies before us, we can trust that there will be laughter and joy again. Thank You that joy in You exists even on our darkest days. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed the weight of our circumstances to steal our joy. Teach us to hold fast to the hope we have in You, for it is in that space of hope that we know and understand the joy in the promise of forever in Your presence. Teach us to choose to embrace the joy we have in You, and to allow love and laughter to overflow from our gratitude to You. Show us how to love those around us in ways that remind them that love and laughter, joy and peace are present when we know Your nearness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all praise for the joy we know in You, and for the love and laughter that You provide through those You place in our lives. Amen.

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

But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. – Psalm 5:11

The Light of Hope

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)

Hide me and protect me. I trust what You say. – (Psalm 119:114, ERV)

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

The dictionary definition of hope is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. (dictionary.com) However, for those who hope in Jesus, the word means so much more. When we place our hope in God and His word, it is the blessed assurance that we know God is with us, and are confident that no matter what is going on now, our future is certain in Christ. There is comfort, joy and peace when we place our hope in the Lord and His word. Throughout scriptures, we are reminded that God’s goodness triumphs over all that would feel like it is against us. Ultimately, Jesus provides our every reason to have hope forever. He took all of our sin, shame, hurts, heartaches and fears with Him to the cross. Jesus has felt what we feel, and knows how to contend for us. When we trust in Him and place our hope in His goodness and love, we not only know and experience it here, but we have the blessed assurance that we will spend eternity with Him in the place He has prepared for us. This is the reason that the Christmas season is one that is filled with hope, for Jesus arrived as the hope of the world that had been promised long before. His arrival was hope realized, and His life and love have shown us not only what we have now, but all that is yet to come. May we ever seek the Lord to remind us of the hope we have in Him, and celebrate the blessed assurance that came into the world when Christ was born.

The Light of the world,

Came down unto us;

The hope realized,

Was found in Jesus.

Our safety and help,

Both now and to be;

Blessed assurance,

For you and for me.

Our true hope is found,

Sweet security;

Comfort in knowing,

Love eternally.

No matter what comes,

Hope in God is true;

He’s present to help,

And carry us through.

His light will lead us,

Our anchor through storms;

Good everlasting,

The Hope that transforms.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what hope truly means. Thank You that You are our hope in the here and now, and the blessed assurance we have in forever with You. Forgive us for forgetting that hope is not a feeling, but rather it is the knowing that is deeply rooted in our souls that reminds us that we are not home yet. Show us how to love those around us in ways that demonstrate and pass on what hope really means. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place our hope in You and trust in the blessed assurance that we have through knowing You and spending time in Your word. Amen.

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

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – John 9:5

Clean and New

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – (Psalm 51:10, HCSB)

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)

As I gaze upon the freshly fallen snow, and the world looks clean and new, I am reminded that God does this for us each time we ask. He wipes away all of our guilt and shame, and provides a new start as we seek Him. Each time I fall short and am given a fresh start, I am compelled to do and be better. God is faithful to meet us each time we seek Him, and His heart is to ever give us a fresh start. May we ever seek the Lord to cleanse us and strengthen us so that we may clearly reflect His goodness and His love.

O God, cleanse my heart,

May it be made pure;

Strengthen my spirit,

As You remain near. 

Lead me in Your love,

May Your heart move mine;

To love others well,

And always be kind.

With each brand new day,

May I rest assured;

That You are with me,

In You I’m secure.

Ever Your faithful,

So we should be too;

Deepen my love, Lord,

So I love like You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You cleanse us and make us new, and You strengthen us for all that we are called to do. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for You are faithful forever. Teach us how to trust You more, so that from the moment we rise to the close of our day, we operate in the lavish goodness of Your unending love. Show us how to love those around us well, and to forgive as we have been forgiven by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they come to know who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to cleanse us and strengthen us by Your love so that we may love likewise. Amen.

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

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Overflowing Gratitude

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, NIV)

You accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, so continue to live in Him. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from Him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God. – (Colossians 2:6-7, ERV)

Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. – (Colossians 2:6-7, VOICE)

This is an ongoing, lifelong process that makes all of the difference in how our lives are lived. When we remain rooted in Christ, He strengthens our faith and reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. Yesterday, as I was pulling into the parking lot where I coach high school gymnastics, I received a call from the specialist who had performed the biopsy on my lip. From the start, I could tell her tone was somber, so I took a deep breath and listened to the news she was sharing with me. The results were worse than she had anticipated, as aggressive carcinoma cells were found in the muscle, nerves and tissue from the punch sample. She said that normally the surgical process she had previously anticipated for me would be scheduled out in January, but due to the nature of the findings, it will be made a high priority and the schedulers will orchestrate a time as soon as possible. This is not exactly the news I had hoped or prayed for, but I needed to get into the gym and coach my girls. It was only after practice, when I called my husband, walked the dogs (prayerfully), and then spoke with my sisters and best friend, that I was able to breathe more easily and feel the familiar foundation of faith rise up. Being reminded of the beautiful community I am in floods my heart with gratitude. I am thankful that the spot was discovered before it spread further, that I have family and friends that support and encourage me, and that the success rate of treating this sort of cancer at this stage is outstanding. Additionally, I am grateful for sweet, smart dogs that seem to sense the need for snuggles. Currently, I have a gentle giant curled up and snoring softly on my lap. May we ever journey with Jesus through every twist and turn that life brings, for He is faithful to strengthen us and supply all that we need.

Give thanks to the Lord,

For He is the good;

That strengthens, supports,

Makes love understood.

He pours out His grace,

Holds us up gently;

Embraces our heart,

And makes our fears flee.

He brings alongside,

Kind community;

Equips, empowers,

Grants His eyes to see.

Things aren’t forever,

Pain’s temporary;

But our hope in Him,

Lasts eternally.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength, our hope and our help. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks. Forgive us for the times that we allow our circumstances to temporarily blind us to the truth of Your love and grace that gets us through all things. Teach us to trust You more each day, and flood us to overflowing with Your goodness and love. Show us how to love those around us in ways that strengthen and encourage, making Your heart abundantly clear to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for who You are and how You love us so well. Amen.

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

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

No Barrier

We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. – (Hebrews 6:19, HCSB)

This hope is like an anchor for us. It is strong and sure and keeps us safe. It goes behind the curtain. – (Hebrews 6:19, ERV)

That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls, a hope that leads us back behind the curtain to where God is (as the high priests did in the days when reconciliation flowed from the sacrifices in the temple). – (Hebrews 6:19, VOICE)

God is the hope that anchors our lives. He is strong and secure and keeps us safe. Typically, I pause there, as knowing that I have Christ as the anchor to steady me is of great comfort. However, this morning as I ponder further the second half of the verse, I am reminded that Jesus goes where we cannot; He sees what we cannot; and He is able to do the things that we are not equipped, empowered, or allowed to do. The curtain, in Old Testament times, was the separation between God and man. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn in two and there no longer was a divide between us and God. Jesus made the way for us to fully access God, personally, rather than having to have a go-between that was only allowed in His holy presence once a year. We can seek and approach the Lord any time, for Jesus is the lens through which the Father sees us as holy and acceptable. This is not through anything that we have or have not done, but rather all because of Jesus. May we ever hold fast to Him who is the anchor of our hope, and the One who has removed the barrier that kept us separated from God.

Hope is the anchor,

That keeps us afloat;

No separation,

With Christ in our boat.

He’s our safe harbor,

Throughout each new storm;

Our hope and our help,

To keep keeping on.

No longer is there,

A limit for us;

All times and places,

Right there is Jesus.

Cling to the anchor,

The barrier’s gone;

In Christ there’s a way,

For He makes us strong.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the anchor of our hope, and that because of Jesus, there is no longer a barrier that separates us from You. Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to have full access to God. Forgive us for being our own barrier. Teach us to trust in You, Lord, that Your sacrifice and Your grace are enough to steady us and grant us access to ever come before You. Show us how to love like there is no barrier standing in our way. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to You, our anchor, and praise You for the ongoing access we have to come before You on Your throne, without fear or barrier to keep us from You. Amen.

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

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take rest in safety. – Job 11:18

To Draw Strength

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. – (Ephesians 6:10, HCSB)

To end my letter I tell you, be strong in the Lord and His great power. – (Ephesians 6:10, ERV)

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

Paul, in his letter to the church of Ephesus, reminded the people from where to draw their strength. This reminder is not only for them, but for all of us, throughout the ages. God’s strength is limitless and everlasting. We can call on Him and He is faithful to provide the strength we need to keep moving in the direction to which we have been called. Sometimes His strength is provided supernaturally, and other times, He supplies people around us to lean on, who encourage and build us up. Either way, He continues to prove that He is faithful and worthy of all of our trust. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength, for He is good and is stronger than anything that we might face.

Brothers and sisters,

Look to God for strength;

It’s more than enough,

Endless height and length.

Wherever we go,

His strength shall endure;

So keep seeking Him,

All grace He assures.

He provides for needs,

In His love, He gives;

Hope, help and His peace,

And strength to forgive.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply of strength. Thank You that You meet us in our need, and provide in ways that we might not expect, yet grant us that which sustains us best. Forgive us for the times that we have tried to muscle our way through things, or suffer in silence; neither is what You intend for us. Teach us to bring our burdens to You, for You provide the strength we need to press on. Show us how to love those around us in practical ways, so that strength is shared as it is needed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength and praise You for Your limitless power and provision. Amen.

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

Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Where Help Comes From

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, HCSB)

I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, ERV)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. – (Psalm 121:1-2, MSG)

Lifting our eyes is a way to take our gaze off of what lies directly before us, and to look beyond to what could be. Each time I see the majestic mountains, I am reminded of the power and goodness of God. The same God who formed the mountains, is the One who comes and dwells within us as we invite Him in. He is our help and our hope, and the One in whom our future rests. To look to the mountains is to gaze upon the tangible evidence of God. For me, when I look upon the beauty of creation, I am reminded of the One who made it all. He is so much more than we see, yet the tangible evidence of His goodness makes the unseen easier to grasp. May we ever look to the Lord to be our strength, help and hope, and readily receive the reminders all around us as we gaze upon the beauty of all that He has made.

When we choose look up,

Our eyes truly see;

All of creation,

Made purposefully.

Our help and our hope,

Come from God above;

He sees and He hears,

And answers in love.

Majestic mountains,

And sparkling seas;

Glimpses of the Lord,

And His majesty.

His power and grace,

Are visibly seen;

To show us His love,

As He meets our needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us Your power through the beauty of creation all around us. Thank You for such incredible reminders of Your power and strength that are available to all who seek You. Forgive us for the times that we have looked to anything other than You to be our strength, and for the times that we have somehow made You too small. Teach us to look to You in all things and at all times, for You are greater than all. Show us how to love those around us in ways that lift up and encourage everyone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength, and praise You for the tangible reminders of Your power and grace. Amen.

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

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices and I praise Him with my song. – Psalm 28:7

Hope As We Wait

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. – (Psalm 130:5, NIV)

I am waiting for the Lord to help me. My soul waits for Him. I trust what He says. – (Psalm 130:5, ERV)

So I wait for the Eternal – my soul awaits rescue – and I put my hope in His transforming word. – (Psalm 130:5, VOICE)

I am not necessarily in need of rescue, but I certainly need the Lord’s help to navigate each new day. Right now, we are in the throes of back-to-school training and meetings, and I feel like it is a scramble to get all that needs to be done, completed. This morning, I am again reminded to trust in Him, for He is my help and my hope. It does not mean that I sit idly by and wait for Him to magically impart all that is needed upon me, but rather I keep moving forward and trust in Him to fill and equip me for all that lies ahead. The wait is to settle my own heart so that I am aware of His presence and perfect peace. When I slow down and settle into the seeking as I start my day, I know that I can trust Him for all that lies ahead of me. May we ever wait on the Lord to be our help and our hope, and trust in Him, for His word is true and endures forever.

O Lord, help us wait,

For Your perfect peace;

That comes from trusting,

You’ll meet all our needs.

Strength when we’re weary,

Hope in the unknowns;

Grace on the journey,

‘Til heaven’s our home.

Show us, Lord Jesus,

Your help, hope and peace;

Equip us for where,

Your loving path leads.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our hope as we wait on You to lead us forward. Thank You that we become aware of the presence of Your perfect peace as we slow down and spend time waiting on You. Forgive us for our frustrations and fears as we walk into new seasons. Show us Your goodness and grace, for Your word is faithful and Your peace is available, always. Teach us to trust You more. Lead us to love all those around us as You do, so that all might know the hope that is found in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait on Your leading, and trust You to be our ever-present help and hope through every season. Amen.

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

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. – Psalm 33:20

Ever Near

I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – (Psalm 16:9, HCSB)

I always remember that the Lord is with me. He is here, close by my side, so nothing can defeat me. – (Psalm 16:9, ERV)

He is ever present with me; at all times He goes before me. I will not live in fear or abandon my calling because He stands at my right hand. – (Psalm 16:9, VOICE)

This is the goal for sure, to keep the Lord in mind always and to remember that He is ever present with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Whatever He calls us to, He will see us through. It does not mean that it will be easy, but it will always be worthwhile. Whether we have known Jesus the majority of our lives or for a short while, it is good to be reminded of how very near He is. When we are aware of His presence, fear flees and we find we are equipped and empowered to move forward into all that He is asking. May we ever seek the Lord and be intentional to spend time with Him, as it is through our drawing near that we are reminded that the Lord is but a heartbeat away.

O Lord, You are good,

Chasing sunsets on Oahu.<3

Ever near to me;

My help and my hope,

For eternity.

As close as my hand,

You stay by my side;

Your nearness is clear,

As I choose abide.

Remind us, O God,

Of Your strength and grace;

How present You are,

When we seek Your face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always with us and ever ready to help us and strengthen us so that we can press on. Thank You that we need not fear because You are with us. Forgive us for losing sight of Your nearness. Teach us to trust in Your goodness and grace that is ever with us. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your nearness tangible. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are ever aware of Your nearness. Amen.

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

The Lord is near to all who call out to Him, all who call out to Him with integrity. – Psalm 145:18