Tag Archive: touch lives


Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! – (Psalm 72:3, ESV) 

May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. – (Psalm 72:3, NLT) 

Under His reign, may this land of mountains and hills know peace and experience justice for all the people. – (Psalm 72:3, VOICE) 

 

Though I am only beginning to process all that I saw and experienced during my time in Belize, this particular verse stood out to me this morning, as it is my prayer for the people whom I had the joy to meet. During my stay in beautiful Belize, I was up north in the jungle. Our purpose was to hold health education outreaches, to check blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and to help educate people about risks and prevention, as well as some other basic health awareness issues. The thing that left the greatest impact on me, was that in the neighboring village to where we were staying, the greatest need was to have year-round clean water. Each year, during the dry season (May – June), many people from the village of 2,500+ fall ill, especially school children, and have no cure for something that should be entirely preventable. The kind principal of the K-8 school has to be the nurse, custodian, cafeteria provider, and run the school. She informed us that during the dry season, it is common to have to send five students a day to the hospital. Each student sent costs the school $100 out of the operating budget, and the hospital does not hydrate the children, but rather gives a cortisone shot and sends them home, often more ill than when they arrived. Clean running water year-round would eliminate much of the illness, and having a nearby nurse who could administer fluids rather than a useless shot, would likely alleviate much of the remaining ruin that occurs during the despairing time each year. The lack of resources and man-power are the obstacles that stand between the village and the solution. Awareness is certainly a step in the right direction. My prayer is that with the known need, that the floodgates of heaven would open, and He would supply all that is needed. No, there is no simple solution that will transpire overnight, but there are now twelve more people who have been touched by the lives of those living in the village, and who cannot unsee the faces of the sweet children who attend school where we stood. May our hearts be ever open to hear what we are meant to do to touch lives and transform communities as You call us to do. 

 

O Lord, send Your rain, Send Your Rain

Pour out on this place; 

Grant what is needed, 

By Your sovereign grace. 

O Lord, break our hearts, 

For that which breaks Yours; 

Then lead us in love, 

As You open doors. 

Help us to see, Lord, 

As You want us to; 

Give strength and equip, 

So we may go do. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see and know every need. Thank You that You lead us where You want us to go, and You show us Your heart for people. Thank You that You make us aware of those beyond our borders. Forgive us for neglecting to look for need outside of our own four walls. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk through our days with eyes to see as You see, and open hands and hearts, ready to give, love and serve as You ask us to do. Show us how to love well, those within our own reach, as well as those beyond our borders. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You to be the Provider for those near and far, and to show us what we can do to be Your hands to those in need. 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

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For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb before I took my first breath. – (Psalm 139:13, VOICE)

You formed the way I think and feel. You put me together in my mother’s womb. – (Psalm 139:13, ERV)

 

At the very beginning of our existence, there was God and our mother. No matter what the circumstance or situation, each one of our mothers chose to carry us to term, and God knit us together in the space of our mother’s womb. I know for some, there is sorrow connected to Mother’s Day, either for lack or loss or what should have been. For those who are mourning, I pray that He would hold your heart in His hands and remind You that He is with you in a tangible way. On the other side of motherhood, may those who have mothers who have been invested and available, find way to extend appreciation today and always. Additionally, each of us have been shaped to touch the lives of those around us. Whether we are mothers by blood or not, it takes little to see those around us who could use the love and encouragement that a maternal figure can offer. May we recognize the remarkable work that our Redeemer did, even before we drew our first breath, and let us also go forth and love well as He has called us to love.

 

Shaped with a purpose,Made to Mother

Before our first breath;

It is no mistake,

We’ve life over death.

Each mother gave life,

Now we have a role;

To rise up in faith,

Let Christ make us whole.

For God is so good,

His heart of love finds;

Ways for us to give,

Grace and hope that binds.

May we choose to be,

Sister and mother;

One who loves as Christ,

Our heart to others.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of mothers. Thank You for the mothers who love well, and show us what it is to love as You love us. Thank You that even the mothers who did not love well, chose to give life and allowed You to create the gift of the life that exists before us. Thank You that You comfort those who mourn, and that You can use any heart that is willing to speak life as a mother to those who are lacking. Forgive us for not fully appreciating the gift we have around us in the women You have placed in our lives to be motherly to us. Teach us to love and appreciate the gifts that You so generously give. Show us how to love those in need, as we are so lavishly loved by You. Thank You for the amazing gift of my own Momma. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the remarkable that You have done, and go forth in love as we are called. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Jesus answered, “The work God wants you to do is this: to believe in the One He sent.” – (John 6:29, ERV)

God wants us to trust and believe in His one and only Son with all that we are, rather than complete some check list of accomplishments. When we are fully invested in faith in Christ, we are compelled to love and serve as He did. Our motivation for what we do, matters. If we are working to somehow try to earn God’s favor, we are toiling in vain. Anything God wants accomplished, He can do with a thought or a word. His ways are so much higher than our ways. However, if we believe in Him with our whole being, and love Him with all that we are, we cannot help but long to serve Him and do whatever He calls us to do. Acting in love is a far different scenario than obligation or fear. May we rise up and take inventory of what we are doing today. If our to do list is merely to appease or earn favor, let our hearts be changed so that we are motivated purely by His love, and a heart to serve Him and all whom He has created.

O Lord make my heart,Believe Instead of Striving

prepared to serve;

not to please others,

of love undeserved.

For what matters most,

is in Whom I trust;

hope everlasting,

in Christ is a must.

Show us the way, Lord,

to fully invest;

our hearts unto You,

in the way that’s best.

From that space of faith,

teach us to love well;

so others may know,

Your grace for themselves.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what You want from us is our whole heart – our trust and our belief. Thank You that You sent Your Son to make Yourself tangible and approachable, to a world lost and desperately in need of Your grace. Thank You that You love us in spite of ourselves, and raise us up to who You call us to be, if we choose to seek and trust in You. Forgive us for our attempting to do enough or be enough, rather than investing all that we are in You. Teach us to trust in You, and allow You to do the transforming of us, so that we can go forth and be used by You to touch lives and transform communities. Lead us to love others as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we believe with all that we are, in the One You sent. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. – (2 John 1:6)

To truly live a life of love, is to live one of obedience to that which Christ has commanded. All that Christ asks of us can be summarized quite simply; we are to love God and love people. If all that we say and do is governed by our love for Christ and our desire to show His love to others, we will be operating in obedience to His commands. Though seemingly quite simple, it is much more easily said than done. Without investing in Christ and His created, we are not able to love well. We must know and trust God, and be invested in the world around us to actually touch lives with the love that He gives. Often it requires that we listen, even when we’d rather speak; help, when we’d like to have help ourselves; give, when we’re not sure we have enough, and show kindness, despite disdain that may be extended toward us. Love is a choice that we must choose to make if we desire to obey what the Lord is asking. He grants us wisdom as to when it is unhealthy to come close to those who could bring harm, and grace to extend to those who feel unworthy of being loved. May we each choose to walk in obedience to His commands as we walk out this day in His love.

To truly live life,Tether Our Hearts

obeying the Lord;

we must choose to love,

as we are adored.

For Christ grants to us,

all that we will need;

to go and love well,

let His Spirit lead.

Though it seems simple,

it is quite a task;

to love each other,

as Jesus has asked.

For people are flawed,

broken and cause harm;

it takes total trust,

to love as He arms.

Our obedience,

is well worth the price;

eternity sure,

our most sound advice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to walk in obedience to Your commands. Thank You Jesus that You modeled a life lived in love. Thank You that You loved us so much that You gave Your very life for ours so that we could live forever with You, and love as You love us. Forgive us for not walking in obedience to Your commands, as we neglect to love You or others as we are called to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will love with wisdom and grace, showing others well the way to seek with their whole hearts, Your tender face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in obedience to Your commands and walk in love. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Yesterday, my pastor continued a series entitled, “Transformed.” He began with the reminder that we are called and invited to do as Jesus did unto the world.

 

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – (John 14:10-12)

 

The Lord is sending us as His ambassadors to move things back toward the kingdom of God. We are charged to walk through life with our eyes wide open and our hearts at the ready, so that we can see what is out of alignment with His perfect plan, and hear Him as to how things ought to be. Because He is in us, we can play a part in moving things back to God’s intended order. Our giftings and callings are not just meant to be utilized as a gift to the church, but rather as a gift to the world. When we reach out to the world around us, lives are touched and communities are transformed.

 

Often our own hesitation is opposition, however, the disciples and the early church took root and grew in a time of persecution of the worst kind. Ostracizing, imprisonment, flogging, stoning and crucifixion, were common fates among early believers. Despite the demise of many, Christianity spread like a wild fire in a dry forest. “Christianity that fails in a tough environment, may not be TRUE Christianity.” – (Pastor Jon McIntosh) If we are truly being His hands and feet to the world, broken lives will be made whole, as He alone has the capacity to redeems all things. God can do abundantly more than we could ever hope or even begin to imagine, if we are only willing to walk in His ways.  May we rise up and embrace our charge, and go forth to share the gifts that God has placed in each of us with the world.

 

For those who are saved,Forgiveness is Free

our lives are transformed;

the faithful drew near,

and love was outpoured.

The gifts of the Lord,

in another seen;

used for His glory,

now we are redeemed.

May we too rise up,

in love freely give;

the best of ourselves,

so others might live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us the way to love well. Thank You that You send Your Spirit to empower all who choose to invest their lives in You and invite Your presence to come. Thank You that in You, we can do the very things You did. Forgive us for forgetting the tremendous power that resides within us, and teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and move mightily as You call. Lead us to love others in such a way, that people cannot help but turn to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we go forth in faith, operating in the gifts that You have given to share with the world around us. 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

He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, ERV)

 

Not all pain and suffering are bad. Often our pain has a purpose. The very comfort that we receive from Christ, grows in us a compassion and empathy for others who suffer in a similar way. God can use our experiences to express His goodness through us, as we are able to listen and understand others in a way that those who have not experienced similar suffering could not. May we embrace His goodness and grace in our times of trial and trouble, so that we may be equipped to offer comfort and compassion to those who experience similar trials one day.

 

God is our comfort,The Comfort of Christ

through trial and pain;

when troubles do come,

His presence is plain.

Look for His goodness,

despite suffering;

kindness extended,

Love’s true offering.

Just past our trials,

Christ often brings due;

a chance to extend,

how He loved us through.

Embrace His goodness,

regardless of pain;

trust in His purpose,

allow Him to reign.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good, and that You comfort us when troubles come so that we too, can comfort others as we have been comforted by You. Forgive us for thinking that there could not possibly be a purpose in our pain or trials, and help us to keep our eyes fixed securely on You. Thank You that even in the midst of our suffering, You provide Your peace, Your presence, and tangible evidence of Your love for us. Help us to trust You more, so that we may go forth in faith, allowing You to speak through our places of pain to touch lives for Your glory. May many come to know of Your loving kindness, and come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted, O God, as we trust You to be our comfort, so we too, can comfort others. 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

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” – (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

 

When we give our lives to Christ, we are commissioned and sent out as His ambassadors to the world. His Holy Spirit enables us to speak His words, and it is Christ in us, that makes us competent and useful in carrying out our calling. On our own, we are ill-equipped to do all that He is asking. However, with Christ in us, there is nothing that He calls us to, that He will not also see us through. Rather than focus on what we lack, we ought to focus on our Source. He is the One equal to all tasks, so in and through Him, Thy will be done.

 

When we are in Christ,The Fragrance of Life

our scent is secure;

the sweet smell of grace,

He has made quite clear.

As we all go forth,

may we smell of life;

that turns lost to Him,

brings an end to strife.

For the Christ in us,

is who people see;

so let His light shine,

so captives are freed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and kind, and that You use the least of us to touch the lives around us, if only we are willing. Thank You that when we invest in You, Your light is made evident in us. Forgive us for questioning our capacity to be utilized by You, or for getting in the way of what You want to accomplish in and through us. Teach us to trust You completely, and to recognize the possibilities presented by Your presence. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may many come to know the sweet fragrance of salvation in You. Be exalted, O God. 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

The grace of God has the power to take the most sinful of mankind, cleanse us from all that we have ever done, and use us for His glory, to touch lives and transform communities. Paul was a perfect example of God’s generous grace. Prior to his transformation, Paul persecuted people who followed Christ. He purposefully pursued them, and sought to punish, all who were a part of “The Way”. However, once Paul had a personal encounter with Christ, he was transformed. All the passion he had placed into pursuing the punishment of Christians, he then spent on spreading the gospel of truth.

 

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” – (I Corinthians 15:9-10)

 

Paul recognized all that he had been forgiven, and was a very humble man. That being said, he also recognized the power of God’s grace working in and through him, and did not negate the precious power of the Lord. Paul did not see himself as worthless, but rather recognized that his value was found through his redemption, and by the grace of God, he had purpose and was pursuing its fulfillment with his whole heart.

 

Regardless of past,The Glory of Gods Grace

His grace is enough;

to wipe away sin,

cover each of us.

He grants us fresh start,

empowered by grace;

walks beside us still,

for all of our days.

His power given,

to all who receive;

what He is granting,

to trust and believe.

Rise up in power,

for He has erased;

the sins of our past,

God’s love fills that space.

Know that He’s working,

in our hearts and minds;

trust He will use us,

to serve all mankind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You forgive ALL of us, regardless of what we have done, if we come to You and confess that we need You, and believe that You are the only way. Thank You that Your grace is enough, even for the worst of us. Thank You that You use ALL who are willing and available, for Your glory. Forgive us for thinking that we are not good enough, or that Your grace is somehow not enough to cover us. Teach us to embrace the grace that You provide, and lead us to follow You all of our days. Help us to hear You clearly, and obey readily. May many come to know You as the Savior of their lives, and may they too, embrace the grace that You alone provide. Be glorified through how we love those around us, just as You love us. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

– 2 Corinthians 3:5

 

Few of us are called to formal full-time ministry positions as an occupation.  However, each one of us are all called to serve and be a witness, wherever we are, regardless of our title or position.  We can show His love to those around us as we teach children, manage households, check groceries, pick up garbage, sell insurance, prepare and serve meals, enforce the law, volunteer and so on.  Our occupation does not limit how God can utilize us for His glory, right where we are, currently.

“Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:17)

“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:20)

“Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.” – (I Corinthians 7:24)

When repetition occurs in scripture, I tend to take notice.  Three times Paul said nearly the same thing to the people of Corinth.  Though his words were in the specific context of marriage, I believe it applies to every area of our lives.  God will use us wherever we have been called, right now, not when we obtain a certain status or position.  What He calls us to, He will use us to work through, if we are willing and available to be obedient to whatever He asks of us.  There are days when it seems impossible that He could utilize me to reach another, yet it is in those spots of the strongest struggle, that His strength is shown and progress is made known.  May we trust Him where we are, and be open to opportunities to touch lives as we love as He loves us.

Each of us called,Bloom Where We're Planted

to serve where we are;

no need to wait,

He’s brought us this far.

Not by our strength,

but rather, by His;

trust Him to lead,

He’ll do what He says.

In all we do,

to God, let it be;

we too were bound,

’til He set us free.

Let His love lead,

and His Spirit guide;

with hearts open,

His peace realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to the spaces where we are, even when they don’t always make sense.  Thank You that You are our strength in the struggle and our help and hope.  Thank You that You use us for Your glory, regardless of our lot in life, if we are willing to serve You.  Forgive us for thinking we have to reach a certain position or knowledge base, or for being fearful of mankind.  Teach us to trust You to give us wisdom, words and all that we need, to love and serve, wherever we are called to be.  May we touch lives and transform communities through faithfully serving where we are called, and may all glory and honor be given to You.  Thank You that You love us where we are, yet continue to grow us more deeply in You.  Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASalvation is found,

through Jesus alone;

who lived, died and rose,

now sits on the throne.

The power to heal,

the great grace to save;

the hope that breathed life,

from an empty grave.

Able to equip,

the ordinary;

to move in His Name,

extraordinary.

No one can silence,

the truth of His word;

for if we speak not,

from rocks it’ll be heard.

All of creation,

boldly testifies;

intricate beauty,

His heart to our eyes.

May we each go forth,

lay hold of His grace;

share well the wonders,

and hope to embrace.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” – (Acts 4:12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example set before us by Your early church. When I read of the faith and courage found in Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, I am inspired to trust You more, especially when my fear of speaking lies before an audience of friends. Forgive us for our fears and hesitation, and birth in us a new boldness for You. Teach us how to share of Your love and grace in a way that is natural to how we have been designed, so that those who hear it, might be ready to receive. May many come to know You personally, as a result of the loving kindness we extend. Use our willing hearts to touch lives and transform communities. All glory and honor to You. Amen.

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

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