Begin With Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever. – (1 Chronicles 16:34, NIV)

Give thanks to the Lord because He is good. His faithful love will last forever. – (1 Chronicles 16:34, ERV)

Give thanks to God – He is good and His love never quits. – (1 Chronicles 16:34, MSG)

 

This morning, I woke twenty minutes prior to my alarm. I am uncertain as to whether it was my full bladder or my strange dream that disrupted my slumber, but either way, I was not pleased to be awake at that time, knowing that I would be up for the day in such a short time. As I felt a toasty blast of heat on my way to the restroom, I had a quick check in my heart as to what really matters. Above all else, I have so many reasons to give thanks. So often, we need to take pause and take inventory. God’s goodness and love know no end. For me, in that moment, I remembered that this is the first day of November, a month often dedicated to giving thanks. Upon further pondering, my mental list of gratitude has grown, exponentially, and I could likely spend the month writing about all of the reasons that I am thankful. At 2:57 am, my list included a home with heat, a warm, comfortable bed, a roof over my head, a loving husband, wonderful children, our moms, siblings, and extended family, as well as an incredible circle of familial-like friends. We all have struggles and challenges and trials to face, yet in the midst of them all, we have God and His unending grace. For all of these things, and so many more, may we give thanks to God.

As for mom, her progress provides yet another reason to give God thanks. This week she had the very last of her in-home therapy appointments, as she is now going to transition to out-patient therapy. The switch is significant, as physical and occupation therapy providers have resources, tools and equipment that expedite mobility and strength, and we are eager to see how mom grows in this new chapter of her stroke recovery. Our prayer now is that the timing of the transition is seamless. We are hopeful that because she is in the same city, insurance will process and appointments will be available quickly. Above all, we give thanks to God that mom is with us, and is on the road to recovery, working hard and growing stronger every day.

 

Give thanks to the Lord,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography

For He’s always good;

His love’s forever,

Through all times, withstood.

Every good gift,

Comes from God above;

Blessings from heaven,

Surrounded in love.

For all that is good,

And help when it’s not;

Give thanks to the Lord,

Who amply allots.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your love endures forever. Thank You for the ways that You bless, sustain and help us throughout all of our days. Forgive us for losing sight of Your goodness when things don’t go our way. Teach us to look to You with gratitude, trusting that even in the struggles, trials, inconveniences and the like; You are with us and will see us through. Show us how to love those around us in a way that multiplies gratitude in others. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for who You are and for Your goodness and love that know no end. Amen.

 

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

 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17

 

 

The More We’re Created For

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. – (Psalm 90:17, NIV)

And let the Lord our God favor us and give us success. May He give us permanence to all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TLB)

Oh Lord our God, let Your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TPT)

 

Though the school year just ended, teacher brains never fully unplug nor shut off to bettering their craft. Yes, the summer is a season for us to rest, retreat and recharge, but it is also a time to prepare for the work we will begin again as the new year arrives far more quickly than one might think. This verse is one of hope and my prayer, as teachers teach not to cram facts and figures into the minds of young people, but rather with the hope of helping each child discover the “more” that they were created for.  The success and permanence in this difficult work is found in watching children blossom into adulthood with the confidence and tools to take them wherever they want to go. May the favor of the Lord rest upon us all and establish the work of our hands.

 

May the Lord’s favor, The More We Are Created For

Come rest upon us;

In all that we do,

To know His success.

In God, establish,

The work of our hands;

May we move forward,

And follow His plans.

Things done in God’s strength,

As He guides our way;

Have lasting impact,

Beyond just today.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us Your favor and establish the work of our hands as we seek You. Forgive us for attempting to navigate on our own, rather than trusting You to lead us and guide us to make a difference in all that we do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize and know Your nearness and favor upon us and follow wherever You lead. Show us how to love those around us in a tangible way that aids in the success of all that they are drawn to do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your favor and trust You to establish the work of our hands. Amen.

 

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

 

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Teach the Way that Fits

Train a child in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. – (Proverbs 22:6, CEB)

Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path. – (Proverbs 22:6, ERV)

 

This morning, as the change of seasons is in the air, and the sense of a new school year is sneaking into consciousness, this verse strikes a significant spot in my heart. How I teach, how I lead, what I say, and all that I do, matter around kids. Both my own and my students will be watching. They notice when I am patient, and they are aware of when I am not. Do I apologize when I am wrong? If I show students what I expect from them, it leaves an impression that lasts. In my own experience as a student, the teachers that stood out the most, were the ones who were consistent and fair over time, and were able to make me feel heard and known. It is only through our hearing and knowing kids, that we can train them in the ways in which they should go. Our task to give them the tools to navigate the world around them is significant. Though a history lesson or a math lesson in and of itself might not be “the” key that drives their success in the future, perhaps a nugget of wisdom that came from conversation will stick with them, and help them along the way. May we take to heart the task of training children in the way that meets them where they are, and helps move them forward to where they need to go.

 

To train up a child,photo (15)

How they’re meant to go;

Is no easy task,

To help children grow.

We must meet each child,

However they come;

Discover their need,

Help them know they’re loved.

It is more than words,

It’s shown over time;

Intent with purpose,

The way to walk right.

As they discover,

The strength that’s within;

They find their own wings,

Power to begin.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for trusting us with the tremendous task of training children. Thank You that You give us Your word, that when children are trained up in the way they are meant to go, that they will not depart from it when they are old. Thank You that You are faithful to Your promises. Forgive us for our inconsistencies when interacting with kids. Teach us to be patient and kind, encouraging and ones to model the way in which we are asking kids to go. Show us how to love all kids well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. Help each child to feel valued and know their worth. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare to teach children however they come, and lead them in the way they are meant to go. 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

Listen, Learn and Love

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

 

Our purpose for studying God’s word ought not be to simply gain knowledge, but rather to understand God and His will, so that we can go forth and do that which He is asking. His word equips us with the tools we need to choose wisely as we go. As we grow in our understanding of who God is and what is good and pleasing before Him, our faith is strengthened to step out and do the good that He is calling us to do. May we invest wisely, our time in His word, and receive the instruction, correction and direction that the Lord is extending as we study and listen to Him. Let us go forth equipped for every good work which He is calling us to do.

 

God’s word is God-breathed,Listen Learn and Love

and granted for all;

to lead and to guide,

to help us not fall.

The Lord raises us,

in His righteousness;

equipped and inspired,

to be a witness.

Not just with our mouth,

but with hands to serve;

as we do good work,

the Lord’s heart is heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your word. Thank You that You teach, rebuke, correct and train us in righteousness as we invest in the study of Your word. Thank You that what is gained is not meant to be an idle space of new knowledge, but rather it is an equipping for us to go forth and do good works, according to Your perfect plan. Forgive us for failing to invest our time into the study of Your word, or for standing idly by, when we know what we are meant to do for the good of those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will invest in the equipping of our hearts and minds in the truth of Your word, and then take what You teach us and go forth to do good works in the community around us. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen, learn and love as You have designed each of us to do. 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

Conquering Fear

Into the Wild, is the title of the series my pastor is currently presenting.  The premise of the teachings is that God is calling us to join Him on an adventure.  This adventure, this journey Into the Wild, requires trust and movement on our part.  Yesterday, Pastor Jon spoke about conquering fear.  In order for us to move, we must overcome the fear that would try to hold us back.

Fear is one of the most commonly used tools of the enemy, to prevent us from moving forward in faith.  Fear tells us we can’t, when God is calling us forward, offering His strength and His supply, as we are being asked to step out where we cannot complete the journey all on our own.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

God has not called us to be fearful nor afraid, but He grants us power by His great love, and leads us in the ways in which we are meant to go, so that we may do that which He has called us to do.  Our struggle is a matter of which voice we choose to hear.  Will we listen to the still small voice of truth, that tells us to keep moving, even if we seem to be standing in the desert when we were promised a place of lush and fertile land, or do we listen to the lies that tell us to turn back, to stay in the safety of what is known, and never step out beyond the borders of where we currently dwell?

Abram would have never become Abraham, the father of a great nation, had he not continued to move further out Into the Wild as God called Him.  Often, the time between the promise spoken and the promise realized, is determined by when we actually take obedient steps of faith.  May we each choose to listen to the still small voice, and then boldly step out Into the Wild, wherever He is calling us to move.

May we listen,Conquering Fear

let us each give ear;

the still small voice,

that conquers all fear.

Let not the lies,

take hold in our heart;

they tend to stop,

what we’re meant to start.

Be courageous,

let His power reign;

God is with us,

that will never change.

Into the wild,

may we boldly go;

sharing His truth,

so others may know.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no weapon formed against us will prevail when we place our trust in You.  Thank You that in You, there is not fear, for You have defeated all darkness that could come against us.  Thank You that You love us and grant us grace that is far beyond what we can fathom, and that You continue to lead us forward, even when we fail miserably.  Forgive us for our failures, our fearfulness, and our lack of faith, and grow in us an unwavering faith that always trusts in You.  May we live in love as You love us, and may many come to know Your mercy and grace, so they too may choose Your still small voice of truth.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8