The Process of Good Growth

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – (James 1:4, NIV) 

If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be. – (James 1:4, ERV) 

So, let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. – (James 1:4, TLB) 

 

Growth is a process. Just as children often experience growing pains as their bodies mature, so too do people, as we learn and insight is expanded. The challenges in maturing, both physically and spiritually, are often difficult and at times, painful. There is a letting go of what was and growing into what is meant to be. As a parent, this is alarmingly obvious as we watch our children mature. When our kids are young, they are dependent on us for nearly everything, yet as they age, new learning and growth takes place, and they are expected to do more and more for themselves. Ideally, we will raise them up in the ways they should go, and ultimately, they will become adults who are independent, strong in character, and able to spread their wings and soar. Yesterday, we celebrated the seventeenth birthday of my boys. I am in awe of both how they have grown and who they are becoming as young men. Though it is still a process, even painful at times, they are learning responsibility, chivalry, kindness, patience, faithfulness, self-control, and the attributes that most admire in sweet, young men. Had there been a folding of expectations any time things became difficult, they would not know or understand how to persevere. Because they had to keep moving forward, even when things became difficult, they know that though things may be tough, they can overcome with persistence and faith. May we each seek the Lord to be our strength in the trials, rather than attempt escape that which we are intended to walk through. For each time we persevere and overcome, we mature further in our faith. 

 

Growth is a process, img_2019-01-20_06-13-146032963583724101848.jpg

We all travel through; 

Learning to spread wings, 

And how we’re meant to. 

For we all are called, 

To seek so we find; 

The way God prepared, 

With us each in mind. 

As we move forward, 

Trials surely come; 

We need persevere, 

So His work is done. 

Both that within us, 

And things He has planned; 

Let’s keep pressing on, 

Follow His commands. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to patiently persevere, even when the road before us seems rough. Thank You that You never leave us or forsake us when we place our trust in You. Thank You that each time we keep pressing forward through trials and difficulty, You grow us and show us You strength and grace. Forgive us for our desire to escape challenges. Teach us to run to You for all that we need, so that we would ever persevere and grow stronger in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that promotes patient perseverance that leads to gracious growth. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your strength for patience to persevere, even when our way is more challenging that we would like, for You are faithful to see us through. All glory to You, now and forever. Amen.

 

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

 

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Grow to Overflow

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. – (Philippians 1:9, NLT)

This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love. – (Philippians 1:9, ERV)

My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight. – (Philippians 1:9, TLB)

 

Paul, in his letter to the church of Philippi, included this verse in the first portion of what was written. He passed along his desire to see their love grow for one another, as they continued to grow spiritually. Paul’s prayer back then was timeless, and not limited to the original group of recipients. Our desire and prayer for one another ought to be quite similar, for as we grow in God’s understanding and insight, the more our capacity to love expands. What we receive and know begins to overflow to those around us. May we ever seek the Lord’s knowledge and understanding so that we continue growing greater in our capacity to love those around us.

 

Lord, this too I pray, Grow to Overflowing

For each one of us;

That we’d learn to see,

Others like Jesus.

For God’s love is kind,

Not conditional;

Grace is His go-to,

Love made tangible.

We’re called to the same,

As we learn and grow;

Equipped as we seek,

So love overflows.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You equip us and model for us all that You call us to do. Thank You that the very things that You ask of us are those that make Your heart visible to those around us. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed our egos or agendas to get in the way of what You intended to do both in us and through us. Teach us to listen, learn and act upon that which You ask of us so that we may continue to grow and allow love to overflow. Help us to truly understand how to love those around us as You call us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to continue to grow in our understanding and go forth to love abundantly. Amen.

 

 

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

 

Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ. – Ephesians 4:15

Choosing Circles

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, NLT)

Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones. – (Proverbs 12:26, ERV)

Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, TPT)

 

Yesterday morning, our pastor spoke about the significance and power of our circles. Our relationships have the power to shape our lives emotionally, physically and spiritually. We have the freedom to choose who holds space in our circle, as each person’s circle begins and ends with themselves. Those whom we surround ourselves with ought to encourage us and hold us accountable. Who we walk with determines the person we will become. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – (Proverbs 27:17, NIV) “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” – (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV) We have been created for relationship. The intention is for us to sharpen one another, not to corrupt. The circle we choose can make all the difference in who we become. May we seek the Lord and His wisdom as we learn to grow our circle with grace, so that we may encourage and sharpen one another for His glory.

 

We’ve the grace to choose,

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Photos by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Our circles ourselves;

We need the Lord’s help,

To choose people well.

Those who will build up,

When we’ve fallen down;

Will challenge with grace,

And straighten our crown.

We’re apt to attract,

Whatever we give;

Let wisdom and grace,

Define how we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us with the freedom to choose our own circles. Thank You that You give wisdom and grace as we ask, leading and providing the people that will encourage and challenge us the way You intended. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected investing in our circles, or for forgetting that we have the freedom to choose. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your leading as to which friends sharpen us and which distract. Show us how to be the friend to those around us that encourage and challenge in love in a way that builds up and points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to surround ourselves with circles that are pleasing unto You. Amen.

 

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

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20

Trusted Safe Space

Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. – (Proverbs 30:5, NLT)

You can trust this: Every word that God speaks is true. God is a safe place for those who go to Him. – (Proverbs 30:5, ERV)

Every word of God will be put to the test and proven true; He is a defense for those who trust in Him. – (Proverbs 30:5, VOICE)

 

God is our guardian – physically, emotionally and spiritually, if we choose to place our trust in Him. I have known His protection in my life and the lives of my loved ones in truly tangible ways. Guarded hearts, protected bodies, and minds, made safe in His hands – our shield and our shelter are sound when sought in our Savior. May we ever trust in His word, for it is truth, and seek Him to be our safety in our every storm.

 

The word of the Lord, Rest in the Rock

Is truth and is light;

For what the Lord says,

He does and makes right.

God’s our protector,

Our trusted safe space;

Heart, mind and body,

Safe in His embrace.

So ever seek Him,

For He shall prove true;

Protection and hope,

He’s the word of truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is true and that we can trust in You to be our safe space – body, heart and mind. Forgive us for seeking security anywhere other than in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on the truth of Your word and the promises of Your protection. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates truth and provides safety in spaces that often feel uncertain. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust Your word and Your protection in all things and at all times. Amen.

 

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Stronger Together

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. – (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NLT)

Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done. – (Ecclesiastes 4:9, ERV)

Two are better than one because a good return comes when two work together. – (Ecclesiastes 4:9, VOICE)

 

This holds true for nearly every area in our lives. We were created to be in community, and not intended to be isolated and alone. Spiritually, when we are invested in relationships with people who share our commitment to our faith, we find encouragement, covering, questions that need to be asked, and company to keep in both celebration and heartache. For our intellect, this also holds tremendous value. When planning, preparing or facing a problem, having another to discuss ideas with makes all the difference in finding a reasonable solution. Likewise this is true for our bodies. It is far easier to remain healthy and choose wisely when we train with others seeking to do the same. When given the option, two are always better than one, as working together increases resolve and return. May we seek to invest in the people placed around us, so that we can help one another succeed in all that we have been called to do.

 

For where there are two,stronger-together

More strength can be found;

Resolve unshaken,

When two hold their ground.

Together the two,

Can accomplish more;

There’s a great return,

As each part outpours.

Work is divided,

And more goals succeed;

Each one better off,

Together complete.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created us to be in community. Thank You that we are far better off when we work with others than when we go alone. Thank You that You use people in our lives to encourage us and grow us spiritually, mentally and physically. Thank You that You allow us to do the same for others if we are willing to be invested. Forgive us for not reaching out to those around us and isolating ourselves when we are meant to be invested. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would step outside of what is “comfortable”, and work together with those whom You bring beside us to get things done. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that they might be encouraged and built up through our every interaction with them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we work together with others to do that which You have called us to do. 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

From Peace to Health

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. – (Proverbs 14:30a, NLT)

A serene heart can add years to one’s life. – (Proverbs 14:30a, VOICE)

Peace of mind makes the body healthy. – (Proverbs 14:30a, ERV)

A sound mind makes for a robust body. – (Proverbs 14:30a, MSG)

 

Our head, heart and body are all intricately interwoven by our Maker. When one is not well, the other two are affected also. It is no wonder that peace is so often mentioned in the Bible, for when our heart is at peace, our mind and body follow.

I have experienced seasons in my own life, where peace was seriously lacking. Though I sought and loved the Lord, my mind and heart were wrestling to grasp His peace in my surroundings. The unrest actually took a terrible toll on my body, and it got to the point that I had to make a change for my health – physically, emotionally and spiritually. When I moved in obedience to that which I had been called – the space that delivered me from the chaos to a place of peace – I suddenly found peace again. Not only was peace restored to my heart and mind, but my body began to be restored as well. With a renewed sense of His peace, it was well with my soul.

This is not to say that I have perfected finding His peace amidst the chaos. However, I have seen and know how faithful our Father is to meet us in the middle of our mess if we are only willing to allow Him entry. As we choose to walk in obedience, the direction to which we are called, His peace permeates our existence, regardless of what surrounds us. May we allow the Lord to be the peace of our hearts and minds, so that we may know the beauty that His presence brings to all things – body, mind and soul.

 

The God of all peace,

He Sees and Attends to His Created

Wants our hearts to know;

That in Him we’ll find,

Calm where chaos flows.

When the Lord’s peace comes,

Our health is restored;

Heart, body and mind,

Come let us adore.

We need choose listen,

And then opt obey;

For His perfect peace,

In love, lights our way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we find peace. Thank You that when we have peace in our hearts, our bodies and minds know peace too. Thank You that our health and wellness are found in You, not in our surroundings. Thank You that even in times of great chaos, we can have peace in Your presence. Forgive us for our anxiousness that sits idle, rather than reaches out to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would look to You and listen to Your direction, as You are faithful to lead us to Your place of peace, regardless of the wreckage around us. Show us how to love those around us who are desperate for Your peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You – the Prince of Peace. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your peace to permeate our bodies, minds and souls, no matter our circumstances or surroundings. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

He’ll Lead On Level Ground

Show me what You want me to do. You are my God. Let Your good Spirit lead me over level ground. – (Psalm 143:10, ERV)

As I begin the first day of the second week of school, this is a great way to begin my day. I need His guidance in all that I do, and His Spirit to lead and guide me in the way that is best. This carries over into every area of my life – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and inter-personally. How I go about my day matters. My attitude and approach to all that I do, impacts not only my own children, but more than one-hundred other children each day as well. Add to that all of my colleagues and countless others that I encounter in a day, and how I navigate can have either a positive influence on many, or can be a terrible taste in the mouths of far more than I care to count. It is essential that I am dialed into the Lord and His will, in order to be led in the direction to which I am called. May we each seek the Lord each day as we rise, trusting Him to show us His way, as He leads us over level ground on the path which He has prepared for us.

God, show me Your way,I Will Go

so I may walk well;

following Your lead,

let my life truth tell.

May Your Spirit show,

the path I’m to take;

and Your love light shine,

through choices I make.

May each word I speak,

give glory to You;

and each act be done,

as worship that’s true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You show us what You want us to do. Thank You that Your good Spirit leads us over level ground. Thank You that You are our God. Forgive us for not seeking You and attempting to go forth in our own strength. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things at all times, as You are our Source and Supply. Lead us to love others well, so they too may come to know the grace and goodness that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You, and allow Your Spirit to lead us over level ground. 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

Live Life Awake

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. – (Ephesians 5:14-16)

 

“Every day, there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in darkness. Waking up spiritually is not just about participating in life-changing efforts of worldwide importance, such as stopping genocide. It is walking through our lives wide awake. It is rising ready where we are, with what we have. It is seeing people where they are and meeting their need.” – (Christine Caine, Undaunted)

 

How often is someone standing beside us in the grocery checkout, discouraged and simply in need of a listening ear? Perhaps a neighbor down the street has suffered a loss and needs help finding the strength to prepare a meal? If we live our lives awake and aware of our surroundings, and choose to be ever listening to the still small voice of the Lord, we may find opportunities to extend His hands and heart to a hurting world in ways we would have never imagined possible. Our charge is not to do everything; it is to do something. When we are willing and available to utilize what we’ve been given, lives are touched and hearts are transformed. Nothing we do is in vain, and God works wonders through our faithful acts of obedience. May we rise up from our slumber and allow Christ to shine through us, as we go forth as His hands and heart to the world.

 

Wake up O sleeper,Live Life Awake

the day has now come;

the Lord is calling,

there’s work to be done.

People in darkness,

stuck in their despair;

if we don’t reach out,

then who will go there?

A neighbor, a friend,

someone down the street;

we must be willing,

to love those we meet.

For as we reach out,

the Lord works through us;

touches hurting hearts,

our mighty Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love so much that You sent Your only Son, so that we could have life in You. Jesus, thank You that You make new life possible because of the sacrifice that You made on our behalf. Thank You that You showed us how to live and love, and that You speak to us still, granting us wisdom as to how we are to make the most of every opportunity to reach out and love as You loved us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us stagnant in our own four walls, and teach us to trust You more, so that we may live our lives wide awake, open to every opportunity that You would invite us to reach out. Lead us to love like You love, and may many be led unto You. Be glorified as we live our lives fully awake in You. Amen.

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

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

Expressing Gratitude

“When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on Him.” – (Matthew 8:14-15)

 

Peter’s mother-in-law’s response to the miraculous was immediate. She did not delay, but set right away, to serve the Savior, out of her heart of gratitude. She is an excellent example of how we ought to express our gratitude to God, as He too, has so often rescued and healed each one of us. Additionally, we have the promised hope of our heavenly home to hold, as our reason to give thanks. How we love and serve others, is a way that we are able to express our gratitude to God.

 

The touch of His hand,Expressing Gratitude

has made our hearts whole;

let our lives give thanks,

praise to Christ, extol.

May we serve others,

as He has served us;

let our existence,

reflect Lord Jesus.

With hope in our hearts,

and praise on our lips;

may we serve Him well,

as we’ve been equipped.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us as we are, and that Your love brings healing to our hurts – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thank You that we can respond immediately to Your touch by stepping up to serve. Forgive us for thinking we have nothing to offer, or for being “too busy” to step out. Teach us to seek You in all things and at all times, so that we may be ever aware of what You have done, and what we have to hold in hope, so that we cannot help but long to serve out of a heart full of thanks and praise. May many come to know You, as we express our gratitude to You, our great and glorious God. Be glorified in all that we say and do. 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

 

 

 

Give Us Each Day

“Give us each day our daily bread.” – (Luke 11:3)  Though a familiar portion of the Lord’s Prayer, I imagine the depth of the meaning is rarely considered.  Jesus was not simply speaking of physical bread, but He was referring to the daily supplication of all that we need – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Also, He does not say give us this year, a fortune; but rather He tells us to seek Him daily, asking for the provision of what is needed for this day – not tomorrow nor beyond.  He wants us in constant communion with Him, not to store up treasures, become self-satisfied and then cut off our communication with God.  Our Heavenly Father cares for us, and will hear our every prayer.  It is up to us to press in and continue to keep the lines of communication open at our end.  He is always listening; are we?

A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus  says, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – (Luke 11:9-10) These verses reiterate that He wants us to be in relationship with Him.  He is generous and kind, ever ready to hear our requests, if only we are willing to come to Him and ask.  God does not care if we are eloquent in speech as we pray, but rather wants sincere hearts that seek Him.  Conditions are not placed upon us in order to come before Him; He tells us that EVERYONE who asks, seeks and knocks, shall receive, find and have the door opened unto them.  What a comforting reminder to recognize that He daily, wants us to come before Him.  He longs for us to desire to be aware of His nearness.  This happens, the more that we get to know Him through intentional seeking, knocking,  asking in prayer, worship, and the study of His word.

Give us today,Give Us Each Day

all that we need;

strength and supply,

to You, may we heed.

Daily, let’s seek,

our Savior, King;

bringing Him praise,

of faithfulness sing.

Knock on the door,

He’ll be right there;

always ready,

to hear our prayer.

Ask of the Lord,

make your request;

He is faithful,

and loves us the best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and that You are always present and prepared to hear our prayer and answer what we ask.  Thank You for Your unending faithfulness as our Father and King.  Forgive us for not asking, seeking, or knocking when we need to come to You first in all things.  Teach us to prioritize our time so that we may daily invest in our relationship with You.  Teach us how we are to ask, seek and knock for that which You would have be our daily bread.  May we be ever grateful for the good gifts that You provide us each day, and for the life and breath that we have in this very moment.  May our attitude of gratitude lead those who are looking to ask, seek and knock – so that they too, may come to be in a lasting relationship with You.  All praise and glory to You, our great and mighty God!  Amen.

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