The Illuminated Path

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – (Psalm 119:105, NIV)

Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take. – (Psalm 119:105, ERV)

By Your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. – (Psalm 119:105, MSG)

 

Sitting at mom’s kitchen table before sunrise, I take in the familiar view I love. Something that has always struck me as significant, is how even in the dark of night, the few streetlights that are strategically placed on the highway near the turnoff to drive to mom’s house, seem to illuminate the darkness, with a sort of light that glows far greater than ordinary streetlights. It is almost as if at night, the moon shines upon the spot to point the way as well. I included a photo, but it hardly does the actual scene before me justice, as the camera allowed in far too much surrounding light. It was actually far darker outside, and the light at the turnoff, is more pronounced.  God shows us the way that we are meant to go. Sometimes it is subtle and we have to listen for the whisper or be ever alert to see the signs along the route; however, there are times that He illuminates the turnoff with such intensity, that there is no denying that it is the direction we must go. As we prepare for the next steps for mom, we desire the illuminated path to be made plain before us.

Yesterday, mom had a great and exhausting day of work that left her weary by the day’s end. She continued to work on upper body mobility and strengthening in occupational therapy, lower body movement and strengthening in physical therapy, and vocal strengthening and word recall in speech therapy. One of the many exciting things that took place yesterday, occurred during PT. Mom was trying to lift her right leg from fully extended (while lying down) up to the bent position. She pulled and struggled, worked and strained. With a small bit of assist, she did several, until her leg was fatigued and she needed to rest that leg. While her leg was extended straight, we all were chatting about something or another, and mom spontaneously pulled her leg right up to bent to adjust her pants, because she didn’t like the way that they were bunched up. Stephanie and I just stared at her. We exchanged looks of awe, looked at her, and then giggled in amazement, as she too, realized what she had just done, without thinking about it. Clearly it had made an impact on mom, as she was pleased to retell the story to my sister when we spoke on the phone later last evening.

May we continue to trust in the One who makes plain the path before us, as He lights the way that we are meant to go.

 

Lord, Your holy word, img_2019-05-21_05-05-29920261958759057627.jpg

I’ll keep in my heart;

For it is a lamp,

To lead, set apart.

For You have great plans,

For us, one and all;

If we choose listen,

And answer Your call.

God, help us hear You,

Show us the right way;

Lead us and guide us,

Near You, help us stay.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet. Thank You that You not only show us the way, but You guide each step. Forgive us for our fear and doubts when we know the route but cannot yet see the steps to reach the destination. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love those around us in a way that spreads Your light and life and hope in all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You and Your word to lead us and guide us, all the days of our lives. Amen.

 

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

 

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

Called to Task

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. – (Luke 1:76-77, NIV) 

Now you, little boy, will be called a prophet of the Most High God. You will go first before the Lord to prepare the way for Him. You will make His people understand that they will be saved by having their sins forgiven. – (Luke 1:76-77, ERV) 

 

As Zechariah’s song of praise continued, he proclaimed words of truth, as God revealed the role that his son, John, would play in preparing the hearts of people for all that Christ had to offer. John was a faithful proclaimer of truth, and he spent his life, even unto his own death, speaking of the way to salvation through the forgiveness of sins. As the parents of John, Zechariah and Elizabeth knew their son was called to a task that was beyond their own human understanding. Both, likely spent John’s formative years, educating and raising him close to God, guiding him in the direction that he was meant to go. I imagine it took tremendous faith and dependence on God, to lead a child who was called to such specific work for the Lord. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Raising children who have been set apart from infancy, or even earlier, would be a task that takes trust beyond measure. In my own experience, simply being responsible for two tiny humans at the same time, took formidable faith, as premature twins in the care of a first-time parent was slightly terrifying. God’s grace, mercy and strength made the unknown and unyielding, manageable and marvelous. May we seek the Lord and His strength, as we recognize that He is our help and our hope in raising up the next generation of faithful followers of Him. 

 

O Lord, let our faith, 0119180406679500301.jpg

Be rooted in You; 

Our strength and our hope, 

For Your love is true. 

However You call, 

Whatever our way; 

Your help, grace and hope, 

Will lead us each day. 

Faithful forever, 

O Lord God, You reign; 

Please show us each day, 

The path we’re to take. 

  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness, grace and faithfulness forever. Thank You that You never call us to anything that You are not also willing to equip us to do. Forgive us for our fearfulness when the call seems far beyond our ability to navigate. Teach us to trust You more, for You are greater than any seeming impossibility that lies before us. Show us how to faithfully navigate the roles to which we are called. Lead us to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness and grace tangible. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things at all times, and faithfully walk wherever You lead. Amen.

 

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

 

When I called to You for help, You answered me and gave me strength. – Psalm 138:3

How Precious a Love

How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with You. – (Psalm 139:17-18, NIV)

Your thoughts are beyond my understanding. They cannot be measured! If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand. But when I finished, I would have just begun. – (Psalm 139:17-18, ERV)

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that You are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day Your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, You are still thinking of me! – (Psalm 139:17-18, TLB)

 

This conveys a love that goes beyond human understanding. I imagine it is part of the purpose that we are created for relationship. When we think of those whom we love and treasure the most, it does not even begin to compare to the depth and breadth of God’s love for each of us. The number of grains of sand that would fill up a small bucket would take far too long for us to consider counting. All of the grains of sand on the earth are less than how often He things of us?! As I consider my limited exposure to the various spaces where sand is found around the earth, I am overwhelmed with the goodness and great love that God has for us. More than grains of sand in a desert; more than that lying at the shore by the sea… All for you and for me!  May we consider the generosity of the heart of God and how deeply we are loved by Him, as we seek the Lord to lead us and guide us throughout all of our days.

 

How precious a love,

10917_15227942730243444664612386319390.jpg

Photo by Open Doors Photography. ❤

That grants countless thoughts;

As we rise, then rest,

All grace for us brought.

We are considered,

So loved endlessly;

Beyond human grasp,

Generosity.

So often He shows,

A glimpse of His heart;

Through those He’s given,

For us, set apart.

The greatest love known,

Still does not compare;

To Christ’s love for us,

And His endless care.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your thoughts for us go beyond what we can even begin to understand. Thank You for the gift of those who love us well, that remind us that their love is only a whisper of the depth and breadth of Your love for each of us. Forgive us for disregarding the depth of Your love. Teach us to trust that Your word is true, and to recognize the tangible reminders rendered each time we feel faithfully loved, as such love is only possible through You. Show us how to love others with the same grace and resolve that You have for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for all of our days for the countless ways You love and consider us all. Amen.

 

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

 

For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. – Psalm 57:10

Worship in All that We Do

So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to Him – an offering that is only for God and pleasing to Him. Considering what He has done, it is only right that you should worship Him in this way. – (Romans 12:1, ERV)

Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. – (Romans 12:1, AMP)

 

As someone who thrives on movement, I am acutely aware of the blessing I have been given to have a healthy body that can be challenged and pushed to do extraordinary things. When we use our bodies to fulfill the purposes and callings that have been placed upon our lives, whatever we do can be an act of worship to God. Something that has stuck out to me for many years is the line from Chariots of Fire, “…when I run I feel His pleasure.” -(Eric Liddell) This is an encouragement to me, as I pursue new athletic endeavors, knowing that each one presents opportunity to love as I am called to love, and to utilize what I have been given to its full potential. My hope is that each time I take to the field this season, I will remember the One who gives me strength, and consider every moment an act of worship that will be pleasing unto Him. May we dedicate all that we do unto the Lord, and allow our every deed to be an act of worship to the One who gives us life.

 

I urge you, dear friends, Worship in All that We Do

In all that you do;

To give all to God,

In worship and truth.

All that we offer,

Is pleasing to Him;

From hearts of worship,

Praise flows from within.

Let all that we do,

Be an offering;

Though we can’t repay,

God finds this pleasing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the ability to dedicate ourselves to You in whatever we do. Thank You that it is pleasing to You when we choose to offer that which we do as a sacrifice to You. Forgive us for neglecting to give You praise for that which You make possible. Teach us to recognize Your hand in every detail of our lives, so that we will give You all of the glory for the good that You bring. Show us how to love and encourage those around us in a way that sets us apart by Your grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we dedicate all that we are and all that we do as an act of worship unto You. Amen.

 

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

 

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

Sanctified As We Seek Truth

Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. – (John 17:17, NIV)

Make them ready for Your service through Your truth. Your teaching is truth. – (John 17:17, ERV)

To sanctify is to be set apart for sacred use, cleansed and made holy. In terms of following Christ, that is the very thing that He does, when we choose to trust and invest in God and His word. The Lord prepares our hearts and minds to do the good that He has called us to do, and equips our hearts and minds with truth. As we trust in Him, we are made ready to reach out and love God and love others, as we have been loved by Him. May we invest our hearts wisely to walk in His truth, as we equip our hearts and minds with His word.

We must seek the truth,The Bread of Life

that’s found in His word;

and not just alone,

depend on what’s heard.

For wisdom does come,

to hearts that invest;

in knowing what’s true,

in all that’s professed.

We are set apart,

made holy and cleansed;

by God’s righteous word,

His calls us His friends.

It is by His truth,

we’re ready, prepared;

to go forth in love,

and willingly share.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are set apart, cleansed and made holy by Your truth. Thank You that Your word is truth. Thank You that we so readily have access to Your word, and that we are without excuse to discover more and more of You. Forgive us for not seeking the truth that is available right in front of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would reach for You in all things at all times, seeking You in prayer and looking to Your word for answers to our questions. Show us how to love others in the way that You are calling us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are sanctified by You as we continue to seek truth in Your word. 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

Watchful, Prayerful, Thankful

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – (Colossians 4:2)

 

To devote ourselves to prayer, is to set apart, dedicate and commit our hearts to press on in consistent conversations with our Creator. This requires an ongoing awareness of what He is doing in us, through us, and around us. Consequently, in our cognizance, we become increasingly thankful for all that God has done and continues to do in our lives each and every day. May we begin each day anew, devoted wholly to Him who is worthy, as we are diligent to be watchful, prompt to offer praise, and operate in ongoing conversations with Christ.

 

To be devoted,To Reflect His Radiance

to Jesus our Lord;

a choice to invest,

life lived in accord.

Be ever watchful,

to see what He’s done;

and quick to thank Him,

for the battles won.

In all things, prayerful,

give the Lord all trust;

for He’s the answer,

all His ways are just.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we devote ourselves to prayer, and are watchful and thankful, we become aware of the miraculous all around us. Thank You that You move on our behalf, even when we cannot see it. Forgive us for not being fully devoted to pray, even when You are clearly the answer that we need to seek. Teach us to trust You more, so that You are the first One we seek in both suffering and celebration. Help us to be ever watchful and thankful, so that we may share of all the wonders You have done both around us, in us and through us. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we devote ourselves to prayer, and are watchful and thankful in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

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

Intended for Obedience

Throughout Leviticus, the letter of God’s law is laid out.  In the midst of their time of wandering in the desert, where Moses and the masses of Jewish people had been set free from slavery in Egypt, God gave the people specific instructions as to how He wanted them to live, so that they could be set apart, dedicated unto Him.  Initially, it may seem to be a list of “thou shall nots“, and the “thou musts“, but upon closer investigation, the heart of the matter is that God desires our obedience.  He wants our hearts turned toward His, and knows that we must remove the obstacles that keep us from focusing our hearts on Him.  As we choose to listen and obey, walking out our days in obedience, He blesses us with His provision, protection, and His permanent presence in our very being.

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field  their fruit.” – (Leviticus 26:3-4)  He goes on to speak of safety, favor and freedom that will be provided for those who choose to follow Him. (see verses 6-13) His heart is for us, and He knows our need for guidance to find and follow Him.

Christ’s sacrifice ended the old law, as He was the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, through whom all sins are forgiven.  However, we should not ever take that sacrifice for granted.  The beauty of Levitical law was the intense awareness of the cost of sin.  Imagine having to take an unblemished animal before the priest, only to watch it die, knowing that it should have been you.  Perhaps we can gain a bit of perspective if we remember to look to the cross, and recognize that each time we sin, we have gone against what God has intended for us, and we drive a nail into the sinless hands, hanging on our behalf.  On the brighter side, Christ conquered death.  He rose again, ascended into heaven, and sent His Holy Spirit, so that we would have a constant companion to help lead us and guide us for all of our days.  We need only invite Him in, and His presence will remain with us forever.  May we listen well, as He asks us to love God, and love people, just as He has loved us.

Obedience,Intended for Obedience

living sacrifice;

what we may give,

as we recognize.

He wants our hearts,

let us give Him all;

with gratitude,

as we hear His call.

Let our hearts hold,

His astounding grace;

may we serve well,

’til we see His face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer have to live by the letter of the Levitical law, yet thank You for showing us the purpose was to provide Your people with the path to stay pure before You.  Thank You for sending Jesus, and for the gift of grace that we may now embrace because of His great sacrifice.  Forgive us for not recognizing the severity of Your sacrifice on our behalf, and help us to be aware of just how great the cost, as we face the choice as to whether or not to choose Your will.  Teach us to be ever aware of Your still small voice, and always willing to walk in obedience to whatever You ask.  Lead us to love as we are loved, and may many come into a saving relationship with You, our Redeemer.  Be exalted, O God.  Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

– Psalm 23:6

Choose to Do Good

Choose to Do Good
Fear not the slander,

nor malicious talk;

ready to answer,

when asked of our walk.

In our hearts, may Christ,

be proclaimed the Lord;

may hope be our hold,

the truth we afford.

With gentle respect,

and conscience that’s clear;

share the Source of hope,

so askers may hear.

He holds our right hand,

protects innocent;

shows those who slander,

His magnificence.

So choose to do good,

even when opposed;

for the final word,

is God’s to betroth.

The Lord is our help,

so be not dismayed;

provider of strength,

when we feel afraid.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – (I Peter 3:15-16)

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” – (Isaiah 41:10)

“For I am the Lord, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” – (Isaiah 41:13)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that You strengthen us and hold us in Your hand when we feel afraid. Forgive us for staying silent when we were meant to speak, and teach us to trust You so that we may tell of Your faithfulness forever. Lead us and guide us in how we are meant to share of Your goodness in love, and let those who are looking, come to know and trust You. Thank You for Your presence and Your promises. Amen.

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

The Reason for Reverence

The fear of the Lord

image by Sava Alexandru

image by Sava Alexandru

is to revere Him.

Acknowledge His ways,

let love dwell within.

Serve the Lord only,

with heart, soul, and mind.

Obey His precepts,

His grace is divine.

The heavens are His,

so too is the earth.

All of existence,

He’s crafted from birth.

Each of us chosen,

by God, set apart.

So we ought to serve,

and offer our heart.

(Responding to Deuteronomy 10:12-16)

Despite the exhaustive lists of laws found throughout the Old Testament, Moses simplified the list by letting the people know that what God was truly asking was: “Fear the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, love Him, serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and observe the Lord’s commands and decrees I am giving you today for your own good.” – Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Regardless of the “rules”, God was still seeking the same thing He seeks today – a heart that is after His.  The words from Deuteronomy sound strikingly similar to those spoken in Luke as the answer correctly given to what is required to inherit eternal life.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27

He wants our hearts through a personal and intentional relationship with Him, not ritualistic rule following that is devoid of personal devotion to His deity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son and made the way for us to enter into a personal relationship with You.  Thank You that we are free to come before You to confess our careless ways, and that You forgive us and free us from the burden of our own brokenness.  Teach us to love You with all that we are, and may many come to know You as we do.  Amen.

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