Joy and Trust

Bring joy to Your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in You. – (Psalm 86:4, NIV)

My Lord, I put my life in Your hands. I am Your servant, so make me happy. – (Psalm 86:4, ERV)

Restore joy to your loving servant once again, for all I am is Yours, O God. – (Psalm 86:4, TPT)

 

What a wild ride the last twenty-four hours have been! The day began in anticipation, knowing that we would be bringing mom home to her house by the day’s end. As with any scenario that has a plan, the plan never works out exactly as one thinks it might. On our way to the acute care facility, my sister and I had to stop at a medical supply store to check on a few things to be delivered to the house, just prior to our scheduled arrival. Due to the close timing of the two, we had decided to drive two cars, just in case. While in the store, we noticed a device that appeared to be a genius invention, took a photo, and brought it back to show mom’s favorite physical therapist. She concurred that it would indeed be a fantastic idea for mom, and proceeded to have the attending physician write a prescription for it, so that insurance could cover the cost. In between this process, mom’s temporary wheelchair was delivered, and it was a “hot mess”. Megan and I looked at it, and something in me rose up (I am guessing the fierce mama bear protector) and I very firmly refused to receive the chair, letting the poor delivery guy know that it simply would not work for mom. This began my somewhat comedic quest to retrieve all of the appropriate supplies to help make certain we had what we needed to take mom safely home. First, I visited the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization of retired men that offers free medical supplies to anyone who needs them. The gentlemen that run the place are some of the kindest and most helpful fellas you will ever meet. Not only did they have the walker I was looking for, but the armrest piece that I was given the prescription for as well. My entire demeanor was transformed as I had such a kind exchange with the gentleman who shares a birthday with mom, but is ten years her senior. Joy along the journey through the kindness of strangers. Next, I went back to the medical supply store to see if I could straighten out the wheelchair situation and bring back something that would work to mom. The sales representative was kind and helpful, and very willing to make things work. It was quite an endeavor to fit the wheelchair in my Jeep, but somehow, it happened. I am fairly certain that when I unloaded the supplies at the acute care place, it looked a bit like the clowns exiting a tiny car act at the circus, as large equipment was being pulled from the small space in my vehicle. No more than twenty minutes after I had been back with mom and Meg, we received the call from the delivery truck driver at mom’s house. They were supposed to call when they were on the way, but had not; so off I went again to let the guy in to set up the garage ramp and receive supplies. By the time I returned to the hospital, Megan was walking to the parking lot to get the car to begin loading up to leave. At long last, we were on our way. Once we finally arrived home, mom was completely exhausted. All she wanted to do, was rest in her own bed. All of the anticipation, the hurry up and wait, the preparation, and transportation, at last had brought her to her own space. We sat at the kitchen table together for dinner, then in the living room to watch a movie before we were all ready for bed. It was a very good end to an extraordinarily long day.

As for the now what, that is the portion of placing our trust in His hands. We are in uncharted territory, and having to navigate a whole different sort of new. Already this morning, we are witnessing the potential challenges to being home. Mom is a strong independent woman, and not used to asking for help. Thankfully we bought monitors and I am a very early riser. Shortly after I had risen to get coffee and sit down to do my devotions and begin writing, I heard mom stirring. I walked back to her room to check on her, and she was sitting up in bed, moved to the edge, as if to hop out of bed on her own. (She is not safe or able to do that yet, so it could have been a very bad scene) As I greeted her, helped her transfer to her chair and make way to the restroom, Megan heard us and came in to help as well. There is joy in the journey and we trust our lives in His hands. He is good, and His love never fails.

 

Joy in the journey,

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Mom relaxing on the couch, watching a movie. ❤

On this path we roam;

Seeking and trusting,

As You lead us home.

Show us the best way,

Each step we’re to take;

Strength each new morning,

Love that won’t forsake.

Glorious, His grace,

His peace is divine;

There’s no greater love,

That we’ll ever find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can trust in You in every situation and circumstance that comes our way. Thank You that our lives are in Your hands. Thank You that joy is a gift that You deposit deep within our soul, rather than something circumstantial and dependent on what happens in our day-to-day lives. Forgive us for allowing anything to steal our joy or take away our trust in You. Teach us how to trust more, as You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love those around us in a way that spreads joy and demonstrates trust. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk out this journey in joy and trust. Amen.

 

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

 

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place. – 1 Chronicles 16:27

Selected to Serve

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. – (Philippians 2:5-7, NIV)

In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought. He was like God in every way, but He did not think that His being equal with God was something to use for His own benefit. Instead, He gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form. – (Philippians 2:5-7, ERV)

And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let His mindset become your motivation. He existed in the form of God, yet He gave no thought to seizing equality with God as His supreme prize. Instead He emptied Himself of His outward glory by reducing Himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! – (Philippians 2:5-7, TPT)

 

Jesus was the ultimate example of how we ought to relate to one another. He let go of who He was so that He could love all in a way that was tangible and approachable. Heaven came to earth and walked among us. The Creator of all that is and was and ever will be, set down His deity to become like us, so that we might understand what love means. Jesus did not come as a king demanding to rule, but rather as one who served and loved, helped and healed, touched and taught. By serving in love, Jesus influenced the hearts of humans for all of eternity. We are called to do the same. May we seek the Lord and His loving kindness, so that we may love and serve with the same mindset that Christ has for us.

 

How vast is the love, Healed Hands Reach Out

That set throne aside;

To be made like man,

Deity denied?

And O so much more,

Jesus came and gave;

He taught, lived and loved

Healed, sacrificed, saved.

O how the Lord loves,

Still unto this day;

Contending for us,

To walk in His way.

We are also called,

To choose do the same;

To love and to serve,

Honor Jesus’ Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Jesus. Thank You Jesus for the example You lived, and for Your ongoing help through Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You showed us what it looks like to serve and love. Forgive us for not following the example that You are calling us to walk out. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would choose loving kindness, regardless of what we receive. Show us how to love those around us with Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for strength to walk in Your ways and do Your will, all of the days of our lives. Amen.

 

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

 

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people. – Ephesians 6:7

Only Owe Love

Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. – (Romans 13:8, NLT)

You should owe nothing to anyone, except that you will always owe love to each other. The person who loves others has done all that the law commands. – (Romans 13:8, ERV)

Don’t owe anything to anyone, except your outstanding debt to continually love one another, for the one who learns to love has fulfilled every requirement of the law. – (Romans 13:8, TPT)

 

Being in debt to one another provides opportunity for division. However, the debt of love that we owe to the One who loved us with His very life, is one that makes us right before the Lord as we seek to love others as we are loved by God. As we recognize the call to love God and love people, the charge to choose love is a debt that is good and right to ever seek fulfill. For as we opt to love others, we meet the requirements of our Redeemer. Let us not borrow what cannot be repaid, but rather choose to love as Christ, for all of our days.

 

Don’t borrow beyond, Ambassadors of Love

What can be repaid;

Instead, choose to love,

Like He who has saved.

For those who choose love,

Fulfill the Lord’s law;

We each have been called,

To love with our all.

May our only debt,

Be a loving one;

So our days are spent,

Loving like the Son.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved us with Your very life. Thank You that You call us to love one another in the same way. Forgive us for the times that we neglect to love according to Your will, or lack responsibility with our resources. Teach us to trust You more, so that our only debt owed is the one of love that is an ongoing payment through loving You and all those around us. Show us how to love others as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love like You, for all of our days. Amen.

 

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

 

Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7

The Will of the Word

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)

All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. Using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work. – (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ERV)

Every Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good. – (2 Timothy 3:16-17, CEB)

 

Instruction manuals make navigation through uncharted territory manageable. Whether it is a map to aid in finding a destination, directions as to how to construct something new, or simply a set of expectations and guidelines in a place of employment, each serves a purpose to provide necessary information to navigate successfully. The Bible has the same purpose for our everyday lives. There are so many things that we stumble upon that may at first appear uncertain, yet when we seek the Lord and read His word, we soon discover that there is a direction that we are meant to go with all things. Despite having been written so many generations ago, the lessons we can glean from Scriptures are timeless. May we ever turn to the Lord in trust, and invest time in His word so that we will know how we are meant to live well.

 

May we turn in trust, The Word of God

To God and His word;

To know what is right,

To test what is heard.

For Holy Scriptures,

Are useful indeed;

To teach and to train,

To His will, we heed.

Let us keep seeking,

What God has to say;

So we may do well,

And walk in His way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Word. Thank You that we can turn to You and read Your Word to know how to live according to Your will. Thank You that all Scripture is given by You to help us live well. Forgive us for neglecting to invest time in Your word, or for ignoring the truth that we know. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hear all that You say and walk in Your way, as we are equipped to do good work. Show us how to love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest time in Your Word, and allow You to train us and equip us to do good things according to Your perfect will. Amen.

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Seek to Serve

He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to Him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” – (Mark 9:35, NLT)

Jesus sat down and called the twelve apostles to Him. He said, “Whoever wants to be the most important must make others more important than themselves. They must serve everyone else.” – (Mark 9:35, ERV)

 

God’s economy is not like that of this world. We do not have to claw our way to the top, nor fight others to finish “best“. Instead, Christ calls us to prefer others, to serve others, to place the needs of others before our own selfish desires. In His eyes, we are lifted up when we lift others. The Lord is not interested in how much of an agenda we can accomplish, but rather He wants to see us love others well. May we seek God and give to others as we have so graciously been given.

 

There is no first place,Good Gifts

When focused on self;

But rather through love,

Shown to someone else.

He calls us to serve,

To prefer others;

To love and lift up,

Sisters and brothers.

Lord, teach us to see,

The needs all around;

May we choose love well,

Let Your light be found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to prefer others above ourselves, and to serve those around us. Thank You that You equip us to do all that You ask. Forgive us for our selfishness that keeps us looking inward rather than out. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would seek to serve and love all whom we encounter. Show us how to love and serve as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to love and serve others, rather than seek to serve our own selfishness. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Hope in His Promises

Remember Your promise to me; it is my only hope. – (Psalm 119:49, NLT)

Remember Your promise to me, Your servant. It gives me hope. – (Psalm 119:49, ERV)

 

In the midst of uncertainty, there is One in whom our hope is promised secure. Not unlike us, I imagine that the author of Psalm 119 was seeking tangible evidence of God’s presence and faithfulness, as all had not gone according to plan. When we place our trust in the Lord, our hope lies not in what we see, but rather in the truth that we know. Life may get difficult, but God is always good. He is faithful to His word, and we can trust His promises to be true. May we ever call on the Lord and His strength, as He is faithful to keep His promises and is our Source of all hope.

 

No matter what comes,Honoring the Temple

Our hope is secure;

When we trust in God,

There’s no need to fear.

For He has promised,

His presence and grace;

Hope for our future,

And strength for today.

Let’s not grow weary,

Of counting on Him;

For He is faithful,

Day out and day in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You never forget Your promises to us. Thank You that You do not grow weary of our asking for reminders of Your presence, as You are pleased to have us seek You. Thank You that our hope is found in You. Forgive us for not trusting Your promises to be true for us personally, or for losing hope based on what we see. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love others well, so they too, may discover the hope that is found in all that You faithfully promise. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust Your promises, as our hope remains in You alone. 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

Called to Serve

We are not called to be people who think we are better than anyone else, but rather we are called to see the value in all, and to serve. Jesus came to love and serve and offer new life to all whom He encountered. He did not expect fanfare nor honor, despite the reality of who He was. Instead, He humbled Himself and sat beside sinners, loved lepers, protected prostitutes from persecution, and demonstrated to all, what it means to serve rather than be served. As followers of Christ, we are called to go and do likewise.

 

People who think they are better than others will be made humble. But people who humble themselves will be made great. – (Matthew 23:12, ERV)

But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – (Matthew 23:12, NLT)

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.” – (Matthew 23:11-12, MSG)

 

The greatest aspiration that we can have in life, is to make our life count for Christ. We are each created with a plan and a purpose. If we walk out the purpose for which God intended, then we will stand out in Him – through humbly serving the One who strengthens and grants us the grace to do the very things to which we have been called. May we wake each day with ears to hear and hearts that are ready and willing to serve.

 

The way to stand out,Forgiveness is Free

is to choose step down;

to reach out and love,

those who need be found.

We are called to serve,

to follow Christ’s way;

in humility,

love others each day.

No one can be great,

knocking others down;

great is in lifting,

those who need be found.

Let us choose to serve,

be humble and kind;

show God’s love and light,

as hope is defined.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us what it means to humble oneself and serve. Thank You Jesus, that as You served and humbled Yourself, You gave light and life to all who trust in You. Thank You Father that Christ’s humility brought Him to Your right hand, where He is seated on His rightful throne, granting us forgiveness and grace. Forgive us for not seeing ourselves through Your lens – either too highly or not as enough – for either way, we are not honoring You. Teach us to trust You and who You have intentionally created us to be, so that we would go forth and serve as we are called. Let our lives count for what matters to You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that hearts are drawn unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we choose to humbly serve others, just as Jesus served all whom He encountered. Amen.

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

Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up. – James 4:10

Wisdom and Insight to the Seeking

Give discernment to me, Your servant; then I will understand Your laws. – (Psalm 119:125, NLT)

I am Your servant. Give me wisdom to understand Your rules. – (Psalm 119:125, ERV)

 

Without God’s wisdom and discernment, we only see things at face value, rather than discovering the deeper truth that we are meant to gain, as we spend time in His word. God is faithful to open our understanding and speak to our hearts, if we seek Him and spend time in His word. It amazes me that each time I read a passage, He highlights new things that I have not seen before, or shows me a new application for my own life. When our earnest pursuit is to understand the things of God through a heart that longs to serve Him, He opens our understanding and provides insight that we could not gain on our own. May we seek the Lord with a heart to serve, and grow in wisdom and insight as He meets us in our faithful pursuit of Him.

 

Give me discernment,The Word of God

as I seek You, Lord;

grant understanding,

to walk in accord.

May I live my life,

in constant pursuit;

of seeking Your face,

and learning Your truth.

Please grant me wisdom,

to know well, Your word;

so I trod Your path,

in truth undeterred.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give wisdom and discernment to those who earnestly seek You. Thank You that You open our understanding, so that we might know the expectations that You have set before us as to how we ought to live in accordance to Your standards. Forgive us for not seeking You for wisdom and understanding, and help us to seek You in humility and truth. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your voice as we spend time in Your word. Show us how to love others in a way that leads them to the light of Your love that never fades. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for wisdom and discernment, so that we may understand the path You have placed before us, and can walk it well in the strength that only You can provide. 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

To Serve and Follow the Savior

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. – (John 12:26)

 

Jesus does not limit who may come and follow Him, however, He does require us to serve and follow only Him. Whomever chooses to serve and follow Christ, will be honored by the Father, and considered a servant of Christ. If we are sincere in our seeking, He is ready for the meeting. We are welcomed by Christ and His promises and provisions are for all of us. May we each choose to serve and follow Christ, so that we may be considered His servants and honored by Him whom we serve.

 

Let us choose to serve,Compassion in Confrontations

rise up, follow Christ;

in all that we do,

bring honor, delight.

The Lord will honor,

all who come to serve;

pour out His kindness,

despite what’s deserved.

Joy in the journey,

that we give Christ lead;

He helps and holds us,

and meets all our needs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we serve and follow You, we are where You are. Thank You that You honor those who serve You, despite the broken places from which we have come. Forgive us for thinking that we have nothing to offer, or for getting too caught up in our own world to look outside of ourselves to see the needs that You are calling us to meet. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would keep our eyes fixed on You and our ears and hearts open to all that You have for us to do. Lead us to love others well, just as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to serve and follow You all of our days. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

Appealing for Approval

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – (Galatians 1:10)

 

When we try to win the approval of men, we eventually end up disappointed. However, if we are seeking God’s approval, our goal shall be accomplished simply in the seeking. God does not expect us to get it all right, rather He asks that we seek Him whole-heartedly, and live a life in pursuit of Him and His will for our lives. His grace greets us where we fall short, and His love leads us along the path that He has prepared for us. In Christ, even our disappointments can become appointments that are used for His glory. Where we have failed or life has knocked us down, may be the very places that God is preparing us to encourage another in the same position. In Christ, all things can be worked together for the good of those who love Him. May we spend our days seeking the Lord and serving Him, rather than concerning ourselves with capturing the attention or affection of those around us.

 

Seek not approval,Appealing for Approval

the pleasing of men;

the search is fruitless,

and it never ends.

Rather seek the Lord,

with a heart to serve;

His grace abundant,

and love undeserved.

The Lord, He approves,

the moment we seek;

though we come weary,

scarred, broken and weak.

His arms open wide,

He turns lives around;

beauty for ashes,

the lost become found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not seek the approval of men, but rather we are meant to serve You. Thank You that when we seek You, You are pleased, and You love us as we come. Thank You that even our brokenness can become blessings when placed in Your hands, as You often use what we see as ugliness or weakness as opportunity to encourage another in a similar space. Forgive us for trying to please people rather than You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first in all things and at all times. Help us to find our identity and value in You alone. Lead us to love others unhindered by our own scars, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You with all that we are. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3