Love Can Be Uncomfortable

If we are not willing to be a bit uncomfortable – to reach out and approach, see needs, listen well, and share our own experiences, and help in practical ways – how will anyone ever come to know the light and life of Christ?

 

A man named Jesus approached me and made mud from the ground and applied it to my eyes. He then said to me, “Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.” I went and washed, and suddenly I could see. – (John 9:11, VOICE)

 

I can’t imagine it was a comfortable or natural approach for Jesus. To go up to a blind man and make mud from dust and spit to smear on a his eyes, knowing that this gross concoction would be the very thing that God would use to restore the man’s sight. Jesus is our example of total trust in the Father and His will. Making mud to wash off to restore a person’s sight doesn’t make sense. However, if God says it is the way for a person to see, it is well worth the risk of appearing foolish, to allow the person the gift of sight. May we trust the Lord with an unwavering faith, and be willing to get uncomfortable as we step outside of our ordinary four walls to reach those in need.

 

May we choose reach out,What Gift Shall I Give

Despite circumstance;

Awkward discomfort,

Shan’t steal helpful chance.

Let hope to obey,

Be greater than fear;

So His will be done,

As we seek to hear.

The how matters not,

Lest we choose obey;

Grant us Your strength Lord,

To walk in Your way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You love us so much that You stepped down from heaven to be near. Thank You that Your love draws us unto Yourself, and that You reach out to help and to heal where we cannot begin to help ourselves. Forgive us for questioning the things You ask of us, or not going when You call us to go. Teach us to trust You more, even with the seemingly smallest of things, as they might be huge things in the lives of those whom they were meant to touch. Show us how to love others well, exactly where they are, so that needs may be met and hurts may be healed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we reach out to those around us in love, just as You so tenderly and uniquely love each of us. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

 

 

Nothing is Impossible

For nothing is impossible with God. – (Luke 1:37)

 

Though these words were spoken by an angel unto Mary, as he told her of what was yet to come, both in her life, and in the life of her relative Elizabeth, they ring true for each of us today. What God speaks, He will do. Even the seemingly impossible, shall be accomplished if the Lord has said it will be so. Often, it is a matter of our willingness to faithfully take that next step in the direction He is calling, regardless of how outrageous or insurmountable it may appear. God does not call us to failure; He calls us to totally trust in Him. As we do, mountains are moved, and broken are mended, in ways we never thought possible. May we turn toward trust in He who makes all things possible.

 

The battles we face,Nothing is Impossible

insurmountable;

yet when we’re in Christ,

they’re conquerable.

It is up to us,

to choose trust each day;

only in His strength,

will we find the way.

For God is our Source,

our Beacon of Light;

our strength in battle,

our power to fight.

Over the mountains,

through valleys below;

His presence remains,

wherever we go.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing is impossible with You. Thank You that You are greater than every obstacle that we face, and every battle that lies before us. Thank You that You remain with us, and You fight on our behalf. Thank You that You supply the strength and stamina that we need for every step of the way, even when we feel weary and worn. Forgive us for our fears and for our lack of faith when the barriers before us seems insurmountable. Give us Your eyes to see what lies before us, and the faith to move as You call us to move. Help us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know the hope that is held in You alone, as we faithfully move forward, wherever You are calling. Be exalted O God, as we see the possible in the obstacles before us, because of who You are. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Hope by Faith

“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” – (Galatians 5:5)

By faith, is in total trust of He who is worthy of our trust, despite that which we cannot see.

To eagerly await is a hopeful anticipation of what has not yet come.  It is an excited certainty that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He has said He will do.

Through the Spirit, is the only way that we are capable of having faith in that which we cannot see.  God imparts to us, His Holy Spirit, Who assures us of His presence, His promises, and the hope to which we can hold.

Righteousness, is being right before God.  We are considered righteous from the moment we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our life, and shall be called righteous on our final day as we stand before Him, as we choose to live our lives unto Him.

For which we hope, is all that is held in Him.  His promises, His presence, His unending love, and a future forever with Him – these are the things to which we can cling, as He is our hope to hold.

By faith we place,Hope by Faith

our total trust;

despite what’s seen,

He is our must.

To wait in hope,

with certainty;

for all that’s now,

and yet to be.

By His Spirit,

is how we see;

He grants us faith,

to just believe.

When He is Lord,

we’re called righteous;

not by our strength,

but through Jesus.

All of our hope,

His promises;

unending love,

thank You, Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to set us free.  Thank You Jesus, for the sacrifice that You made, so that we could have hope and faith, and be considered righteous before You.  Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit, so that we have help and a constant companion to remind us of our hope.  Forgive us for losing sight of the hope that we hold in You, and help us to hold fast to the promises You have given, regardless of what is going on around us.  Grant us Your grace and Your eyes to see beyond what is right in front of us, so that we may look to our ultimate destination.  Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, and may we love You with all that we are, so that in turn, we love other well.  Use our lives to touch hearts and transform communities, and help those who are searching, to find a lasting relationship with You.  Be exalted, O God.  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

Submitting to Serve Our Savior

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38

photo by Bernardus Diedericks

Mary, who was really not much more than an ordinary girl with an extraordinary faith and trust in the Father, without hesitation, said “YES!”, when asked to bear the Son of the Most High.  Her only question, as the angel of God presented the promise that would come to pass, was not one of disbelief nor concern for how she might be seen as an unwed, pregnant virgin; rather it was simply a question of what she should expect in the how of what was about to take places, because she was willing.

Mary’s faith and awe about what was soon to take place, really resonates, as it is my hope to become a woman with such a remarkable faith, that my answer is immediately, “yes and amen”.  Any question I ask, I hope will be along the lines of “What am I to do to allow Your plan to come to pass?”, rather than wonder whether or not it is possible.  In Him, all things ARE possible.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are ever faithful to do what You say You will do.  Teach us to trust Your every spoken word, so that we might be willing and ready to walk wherever we are called.  May we be granted a measure of faith that will move mountains mightily as we seek to submit to Your good and perfect plan for our lives.  Let Your love and light shine through us as we walk in Your way and do Your will.  Deepen our faith, I pray.  Amen.

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

Lessons Learned on the Ledge

After days of discussing, it was determined that my sister and her family would meet up with me and my boys (Super Spouse had to work), at the Johnston Observatory among the foothills of Mt. St. Helen’s.  Each of us would wake early and drive a similar distance to arrive at our appointed destination by mid-morning. 

Adventurous, Cautious and I happily drove along, stopping only for food, fuel and a birthday present for my eldest nephew.  With periodic check-ins with one another, it was clear that we were all on pace to arrive at nearly the same time.  Mere moments after our arrival and a quick stretch to determine the number of layers needed to begin the day’s hike, my sister and her family rolled in too.

Enthusiastic greetings were exchanged with hugs, and each of us began to situate ourselves with our packs and proper shoe wear.  The first disappointing discovery came when my sister asked her eldest to get his shoes on.  Her dear boy timidly told her that he could not find his shoes…  Frustration followed, as his only shoe option appeared to be flip flops.  Fortunately, my van is like a home on wheels, as a little bit of everything seems to accumulate inside.  I said that I would check to see if we happened to have a spare pair of shoes in our car.  Not so surprisingly, Adventurous had neglected to bring in his tennis shoes after camp two weeks ago, so we had a pair available.  Never mind that E wears a youth size four and my guys wear a 9.5 in men’s…  With some serious cinching and tightening of laces, Big E was a brilliant sport and ready to make it work.

Our first leg of the journey was to actually wander up to the Observatory to pay our park fee and partake in the first glimpse of our incredible view.  Park fees paid and potty stops done, we were ready to begin.  Single file at times and often clumping in twos, we were on our way.  All along our varied terrain, there was much to take in.  All four boys were most captivated with chipmunks and conversation, while we adults were readily snapping shots of our spectacular view.

After a while of wandering on the trail, we took a timeout to have lunch.  Steep cliffs, jagged peaks, and crystal clear lakes were laid out before us as we took in our terrific surroundings.  Smiles surrounded as all enjoyed our company and ambiance.

Cautious had a minor complaint as a callous was forming on his foot, but being an ever prepared boy, he found a large band-aid to prevent further friction.

On we went, making our way ever further from the Observatory and closing in on a closer view of the crystal clear, Spirit Lake.  About ten minutes down the trail, Adventurous was overwhelmed with abdominal cramping, and began to panic about his desperate need to defecate.  “Can you hold it?”, I asked.  Every fiber of his being, screamed NO!  Not a bathroom within miles and open spaces all around.  What to do?  We found a small shrub near an open space, where I rapidly dug a hole with bare hands.  I advised Adventurous to squat carefully as he readily released the beast.  The burial of said stuff was a bit brutal, but all parties survived the ordeal and were ready to walk on.

Soon, we arrived to a ledge, a sheer shelf really, to traverse single-file.  Adventurous was not quite feeling up to his name, as his stomach was still churning and the heights were messing with his mind.  He agreed to hold his hiking poles, that I too would hold, and followed closely behind me.  Every step we were ever aware of the sheer face that we could fall down if we misstepped.  Hugging our left, we slowly stepped forward, ever closing in on the end of the harrowing Harry’s Ledge.

At the end of said ledge, my boys gladly sat down to rest and recover, and take in the terrific view that was spread out before us.  Smiles were on every face, as each recognized the accomplishment that had just transpired.

Pictures taken, water sipped, and strength renewed, we prepared to double back and head toward our home base.

The return trip went more quickly, as the frightening was not quite as fear-inducing, with the faint familiarity with said space, and the reminder that it had already been successfully traversed.

Some of my takeaways from the day:

1.  Always be prepared.  (Again with the shoes…)

2.  When in trouble, ask for help.  (God does not want us to go it alone, and He cares about our health and well being.)

3.  On treacherous trails, do not look and the drop, rather look only for the next step.  (Quite symbolic for our walk with Him!)

4.  After surviving the scary spaces, take time to see how far He has brought you, and breathe in the blessings of the journey.

5.  Though the trail is often frightening, it becomes a bit less so, when we recognize that we have been brought successfully through similar spaces before.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your beautiful creation and for opportunities to enjoy it.  Thank You that You never stop speaking to us as we go.  Teach us to continue to learn to trust You more, and to hold tightly to Your loving and leading hand.  May we move through mountains and valleys with confidence, not in ourselves, but in You who will be ever present on our journey.  Lead us to love like You as we follow trails You call us to traverse.  Amen.

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

Confidence Comes Through Christ

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” – Isaiah 32:17

photo by Renee @ Island Perspective

The outcome of living right before God will be peace; the impact of allowing Him to direct our days, will be quiet lives with endless trust, even when chaos comes.

It does not say that our lives will be trouble-free, without hardship and heartache, trial or storm.  What is said, is that where we turn, and on whom we depend, even in times of distress, are what determine our peace.  In Him, we can find our steady shelter in the throws of the storms, and an anchor to keep us from sinking or steering off course when the waters rage all around us.

Total trust comes through repeated steps of faith.  He picks us up, when we extend our arms.  The more we turn to Trust, the more His peace permeates the places that have previously been plagued by pain.  Each new step of obedience supplies a season to sense His presence and be surrounded by His peace.  As we learn to allow the Lord to lead, peace becomes present and our confidence in our Creator increases.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, we find You.  Thank You that Your presence provides peace.  Keep us from drowning in times of distress, and teach us to turn to trust in You in all things and at all times.  May the quietness and confidence we carry in Christ, contribute to the leading of lost lives unto You, Lord.  Amen.

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