Look For in Faith

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

Depend on the Lord for strength. Always go to Him for help. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, ERV)

Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, NLT)

 

The stretch between Christmas break and Spring break always seem extraordinarily long. Despite the disruption to our schedule with a handful of snow days, this portion of the school year still feels like a marathon. Between the ridiculously full moon and the unseasonably warm weather, the energy and struggle to focus feel like an epidemic in the classroom. Student frustration is increasing, as the rigor and demand of the work is becoming more challenging than before. This is the space where I am ever aware of the limitations of my own strength, and recognize the need for the Lord’s. I appreciate the various translations of this verse, as they remind me that I need to look for and depend on the Lord for His strength, and ever seek His face. He provides what I am lacking, as I place my trust in Him. May we ever look to the Lord and depend on Him, as He is our source of strength as we seek Him.

 

Let’s look to the Lord, Bold Grace

And choose seek His face;

Depend on His strength,

Granted by His grace.

Ever keep searching,

In spaces of need;

Go to God for help,

Allow Him take lead.

God in His leading,

All strength He supplies;

To keep pressing on,

Our Source realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to meet us as we seek You. Thank You that You supply the strength we lack to press forward in all that we are called to do. Forgive us for not searching for You in the struggle. Teach us to turn to You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends Your help, compassion and strength where it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and depend on You to be our strength; always. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. – Psalm 29:11

Gifts to Bless

God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. – (1 Peter 4:10, NLT)

God has shown you His grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gifts He has given you in a way that will best serve each other. – (1 Peter 4:10, ERV)

Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties. – (1 Peter 4:10, VOICE)

 

God created each of us with a gift that will bless and benefit those around us, if we choose to walk out our days with the purpose for which we were designed. We do not need to go searching to discover what our “gift” is, but rather we ought to serve in the spaces where we have been called, as faithful forward momentum is how we can be faithful stewards of the good God has placed within us. May we ever choose to seek and serve the Lord, utilizing the gifts which we have been granted to love and serve one another.

 

We’ve all been gifted,

Thankful for Love that Endures

Vandy Massey Watercolor

By God’s loving grace;

Spiritual blessings,

To share all our days.

All we’ve been given,

Was done with intent;

So others are blessed,

By God, heaven sent.

Let us choose to use,

These great gifts of grace;

To love others well,

For all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You create each of us with gifts and purpose and a plan. Forgive us for the times that we have either neglected the gift or the purpose, or wandered away from the plan that You have placed before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk in Your way and do Your will, even when we cannot see the “why” or where we are going. Show us how to love those around us well, as we utilize the gifts You have placed within us to bless and love others well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk out our days utilizing the gifts that You have given. Amen.

 

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

 

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. – Jeremiah 17:7

 

 

Ever Seeking Peace

Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. – (1 Peter 3:11, NLT)

Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. – (1 Peter 3:11, ERV)

Say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. – (1 Peter 3:11, MSG)

 

We are called to walk away from doing wrong, and to turn to God and do the good for which we have been designed. At times this requires a searching for peace within ourselves, in order to love and live well. When we find the peace of God and do what we can to share His peace with those around us, God is glorified and the peace that surpasses all understanding, is made evident. May we turn away from evil and do good, ever seeking the peace that the Lord provides.

 

Retreat from evil, Filled Each Morning

Choose turn to do good;

As God intended,

Let’s walk as we should.

Ever seeking peace,

So that we in turn;

Share peace with others,

For His peace is learned.

It comes from within,

Despite circumstance;

For God is greater,

And peace is His plan.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we turn and walk away from the things that we know we ought to avoid, we discover the good that You intended all along. Thank You that as we pursue You, Your peace is present, no matter what surrounds us. Thank You that as we know Your peace, we are able to share it with those around us. Forgive us for not listening to Your leading to guide us away from that which we ought not be near, and toward the good to which You are calling. Teach us to hear Your voice and obey all that You ask, so that we do the good to which we are called, and live in Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Show us love those around us in a way that promotes Your peace through the good we choose. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the that which steals our peace, and turn toward You and do good, ever running after the perfect peace that You provide. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11

 

 

Take Delight

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – (Psalm 37:4, NIV)

Enjoy serving the Lord, and He will give you whatever you ask for. – (Psalm 37:4, ERV)

Enjoy the Lord, and He will give what your heart asks. – (Psalm 37:4, CEB)

Take great joy in the Eternal! His gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires! – (Psalm 37:4, VOICE)

 

God is so good. As we seek and serve Him, our desires are shaped by who we are becoming in Him, and He shows us in ways beyond what we could hope or imagine, how He will give us the very things that we are hoping for in His Name. As my fiancé and I are preparing for our wedding in July, we have begun the process of searching for a home that will accommodate he and his son and me and my two boys. It is a challenging task to find a space that meets the needs of three teenage boys, two adults, several vehicles, and the need for space to spread out, as the personalities of each need room of our own. Additionally, we would love a space that has room to welcome others into our home to share a meal, come and visit from out-of-state (as we both have extended family far away), and space to decompress from the hurried pace that is required in both of our jobs. Yesterday, we were shown our dream home. It fulfilled everything on our wish list and more. The price was higher than we had hoped, and we did not think it would be feasible until we went back, sat down, and really analyzed numbers on paper. We both were in awe as we ran the numbers and discovered that as two heads of household merged into one, we would indeed be able to afford the home we desired most without overextending ourselves. God continues to remind me that as I delight in Him, He will bless me with the desires that He has placed in my heart. The hopes and dreams that my heart holds are not simply random thoughts that came out of nowhere, but rather they are things birthed and nurtured within my design, intentionally. May we ever delight in the Lord and seek to serve Him, as He is the One who gives us what our hearts desire most.

Asking for Amazing Answers

Delight in the Lord,

For He is the One;

Who knows our heart’s cry,

As each day is done.

The more that we seek,

The Lord and His will;

Our hopes shall align,

And dreams be fulfilled.

For when He’s our joy,

Desires come from Him;

Blessings are bestowed,

Both outside and in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we delight in You, You give us the desires of our hearts. Thank You that You love to bless Your children. Thank You for the incredible ways that You move beyond what we could hope or imagine, and that the hopes and dreams that dwell within us come from You. Forgive us for our doubts or for thinking that anything is impossible for You. Teach us to trust You more, and to place our hopes, dreams and desires in Your hands. Show us how to love those around us in a way that grants hope and courage and joy in the wait between the dream and the fulfillment. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in You and give all glory to You as You bless us with the very things our hearts are longing for. Amen.

 

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

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

The Gift of Salvation

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this, it is a gift from God. – (Ephesians 2:8, NLT)

I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. – (Ephesians 2:8, ERV)

Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish. – (Ephesians 2:8, MSG)

 

Salvation is a gift that God freely gives to us, if only we choose to place our trust in Him. We cannot do enough, nor be enough, but rather it is a matter of making the choice to believe that God is who He says He is, and that He is true to His word. There is no prerequisite to have a certain depth of knowledge in biblical studies or theology, instead, we simply need to have a heart that is open and willing to allow God to be God, because we are not. For those who trust in the Lord, let us give thanks for the gracious gift that He has given; for those who are searching – He is always available and at the ready to hear our heart and love us to life.

 

God saves us by grace,

Rejoice Always

Not by what we do;

It’s all about love,

For His word is true.

What the Lord offers,

Is a gift that’s free;

It’s given to all,

Who choose to believe.

Rise up and have faith,

In God You can trust;

For He alone saves,

God’s loving and just.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You save us by Your grace if only we choose to believe. Thank You that we do not have to do “enough” or be “enough” to somehow earn Your favor, but rather You love us where we are and accept us because we are Your created. Forgive us for thinking that we have to somehow get ourselves cleaned up or do things a certain way before we can approach You. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as Your grace is greater than all of our shortcomings and failures. Show us how to love without limits, all those whom You place in our charge, so that they too, may come to know the greatness of the gift of Your grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the gift of salvation, and trust You with all that we are. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Actively Ask

Indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. – (Proverbs 2:3-5, NIV)

 

God grants us the insight we need when we actively pursue Him for answers. The Lord sets our feet on the path to His peace. If we lack wisdom, we must pursue answers. If we lack clarity, He will make things clear. Our part is to pursue with perseverance. We are not meant to pray and then walk away. We are called to contend for the answers we seek, and to keep contending until we know what we are meant to do. The more we seek Him, the more we know and understand who He is, and why He alone is worthy of all of our praise. May we call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding in all things, as we persevere in our pursuit of the knowledge of God.

 

When we need answers,Refreshment Through Repentance

Unsure of the way;

Cry out to Jesus,

Our Source for each day.

It’s through our searching,

That wisdom is gained;

True understanding,

in seeking His Name.

He’s faithful to come,

To give what we need;

He’ll show us the way,

And by His grace, lead.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, searching for wisdom as for treasure – You meet us and grow us and give us understanding of who You are, and how great Your love is for us. Thank You that when we gain even a glimpse of Your greatness, we begin to understand the awe and wonder that remain as we humbly stand before You. Forgive us for our lack of perseverance in our seeking understanding. Show us how to keep asking, as You are faithful to all who seek You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be Your ambassadors to those around us, loving others well, just as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for insight and understanding in all things, and trust the path that You provide. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 

 

 

Seeking in Our Weariness

God, You are my God. I am searching so hard to find You. Body and soul, I thirst for You in this dry and weary land without water. – (Psalm 63:1, ERV)

When we are weary and depleted, the very fibers of our being cry out for rest and relief. Our search will always fall short, however, if it is not in pursuit of Christ. Only He who made us intentionally, who knit us together in our mother’s womb, knows what we truly need to find rest and comfort in Him. God alone is what our hearts are longing for, yet we must acknowledge and seek Him, to find the answers for which we are searching. May we go to God with our every need, as He alone, is the answer to what we are seeking.

God, You are my God,Worrys Worth1

who I’m searching for;

my whole being thirsts,

to know Your heart more.

When I am weary,

I need to find You;

for comfort and rest,

You refresh, make new.

Ever I’ll seek You,

mind, body and soul;

for You are my God,

whom I shall extol.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are my God and I can earnestly seek You. Thank You that when my soul is thirsty and my whole being longs for You in my weariness, You are faithful to meet me in the moment. Forgive us for attempting to power through our weariness, rather than seeking You, our Source of strength. Teach us to trust You more, as we walk out our days both in lack and in plenty. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they would be aware of Your goodness and grace extended through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we earnestly seek You in our weariness, and trust in Your faithfulness. Amen.

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

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

He Looks At Us

When people came to Jesus and earnestly sought Him for answers or for healing, He took the time to truly listen and love each who came before Him as they came.  For those who were prepared, He healed.  For those whom were still searching, He provided further food for thought.

Jesus looked at him and loved him… – (Mark 10:21) This was Jesus’ response to a rich young man who had come to ask how to inherit eternal life, yet was not yet prepared to act on that which Jesus had asked of him.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God; all things are possible with God.” – (Mark 10:27)  The disciples were perplexed at the seeming complexity it required to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus let them know that it really had nothing to do with their own ability, but rather, everything to do with the power of God, present within them.

We too need to remember that the seemingly impossible is only possible through the power of God that is present within us.  Whatever is asked of us will be made possible as we seek our Savior.  Each time we seek Him, He stops and looks at us and loves us.  He is never too busy, nor bothered by our requests.  He hears and knows what we need, and is our source and supply, even if things do not appear in the way we might have hoped or imagined.  May we seek Him, and trust that He is looking upon us in love, ready to move on our behalf.

He looks upon us,External Appearance

with love in His eyes;

no matter our stance,

hope, fear or disguise.

The impossible,

is made doable;

for Christ within us,

makes our supply full.

Always there’s enough,

when we trust in Him;

He hears and He knows,

gives strength to begin.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see us and love us, no matter what state we are in.  Thank You that nothing is impossible with You.  Forgive us for our lack of faith, and our attempting to do things in our own strength.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You and depend on You in all things and at all times.  Lead us to truly look at those around us, so that we might love as You love.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we trust in You to make the impossible, possible.  Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

The Focus of His Affection

For me, writing is a process that involves the tactile and the tangible, not simply sitting at the computer for each step of the process. I delight in the joy of opening a new journal for the first time, knowing that it is the beginning of a new chapter of this journey that God has designed, just for me. Typically, I purchase journals well in advance, as I find them on sale. This morning, I had three waiting in line to choose from. As I reached for the one that had the most colorful cover, I discovered more treasures about it upon closer examination. Imprinted on the cover, is the verse: Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – (Psalm 37:4) What a perfect promise to remember, as I am walking through a season of attempting to recall what exactly the desires of my heart include.

On the inside, each page is framed by a watermarked leaf pattern, and includes a quote about God or a verse.

You are God’s created beauty and the focus of His affection and delight. – Janet L. Weaver Smith

When in a season of searching and seeking, it is easy to forget how He sees us. For many of us, there is nothing beautiful about how we perceive ourselves, nor can we fathom His delight. Our brokenness can distract us from the truth that we are deliberately designed, and He delights in each of His hand-crafted kids. Just as we love and lavish our little ones with affection, His affection for us does not end. It is not limited to when we are little, as He welcomes us into His arms to be held, comforted, and encouraged, no matter our age or what we have done. He is hope and He is love. May we take delight in the Lord, and trust that He will give us the desires of our hearts, as we are His created beauty, and the focus of His affection and delight.

Delight in the Lord,The Focus of His Affection

and you’ll come to know;

desires He’s given,

and how they will grow.

He’ll open the doors,

and create the way;

more than imagined,

as we seek each day.

You are His delight,

beauty that He’s made;

and God’s affection,

aimed at You each day.

His arms open wide,

ready to embrace;

to lavish with love,

and cover with grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and come to know You, we delight in who You are. Thank You that as we take delight in You, You begin to uncover and release the desires of our hearts. Thank You that You created each of us intentionally, and the way that we were made, You called very good. Thank You that You delight in Your children. Forgive us for not holding every human, including ourselves, in the same light as You do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would see the beauty and blessing in everyone, through Your lens. Lead us to love others with lavish affection and delight. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we take delight in You, trust You with the desires of our hearts, and receive the focused affection and delight that You grant each of us if we are willing to slow down and receive it. 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

Looking to the Lord

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (Psalm 105:4)


It is easy to get ourselves worked up and on a wild goose chase when things are out of whack.  We wander to and fro, searching for solutions to solve the storm that can only be stilled by our Savior.  He calls us to look to Him and His strength, and to seek His face – ALWAYS.  It matters not whether times are great, or tumultuous; for He knows and He hears our every prayer.  When we choose to seek Him, we are keeping Christ in proper perspective in our lives, as He alone deserves the throne that is high and lifted up.  No matter what comes our way, may we look to the Lord and His strength; seeking His face always, as He is faithful to meet us each moment we choose to seek Him.
                                                                                                                                                               Let not weary hearts,

image by Elizabeth Blank

image by Elizabeth Blank

choose search high and low;
for that is futile,
as the good Lord knows.
He knows what we need,
before we choose ask;
and He’s ever near,
may we take to task.
As we seek His face,
He’s faithful to give;
the strength that we need,
to thrive as we live.
So, look to the Lord,
and seek Him always;
for He is so good,
for all of our days.
                                                                                                                         Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can look to You and seek Your face, and You provide Your strength and supply all that we need.  Thank You that You are not a God out there, but rather You are God right here – as present as every breath we breathe.  Forgive us for seeking solutions elsewhere, rather than running to You, our Redeemer.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we we look to You and seek Your face, no matter what comes our way – be it a season of blessing or one of bearing burdens beyond what seems bearable.  Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your strength and grace through us, as we love.  May many come into a saving relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we look to You and Your strength, seeking Your face always.  Amen.
                                                                                                                                                         © Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
                                                                                                                                                                   He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21