Tag Archive: transform communities


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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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

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

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

 

“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

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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