Wonderful Counselor

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. – (Revelation 21:4, NLT) 

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone. – (Revelation 21:4, ERV) 

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and eliminate death entirely. No one will mourn or weep any longer. The pain of wounds will no longer exist, for the old order has ceased. – (Revelation 21:4, TPT) 

 

Yesterday, as my pastor continued in our current series, “The Light Has Come”, he spoke about our Wonderful Counselor in Jesus. As he unpacked several things about Jesus as our “Wonderful Counselor”, he included the original meaning of the words in Greek. Wonderful, as used in Isaiah and in its first appearance after God parted the Red Sea when Moses celebrated in a song of praise, the word means “beyond wonder”. Counselor means “guide with purpose”. Our Wonderful Counselor is always available, always aware, and always answers, as He guides with purpose in a way that is beyond wonder. With that in mind, there is no question as to why we are called to seek the Lord in all things and at all times. The hope we hold in Him reminds us that all of our present pain will pass away, as He tends to our every sorrow. This is an excellent encouragement after a week of sorrow and loss. God is faithful, and He will meet us, hear us and guide us in His goodness and grace, as we seek Him, our Wonderful Counselor. 

 

Almighty, our God, All Things Made New

Promised Prince of Peace; 

Soother of sorrow, 

Where grace is released. 

He’s beyond wonder, 

How He loves and guides; 

Provides future hope, 

As we choose abide. 

Run to the Father, 

His love always hears; 

Faithful, He’ll answer, 

All who choose draw near. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have the blessed hope that one day all death, sorrow and pain will pass away, and Your new will come. Thank You that in the in-between time, You are our Wonderful Counselor, ever available, aware and faithful to answer. Forgive us for our lack of faith, or for seeking counsel anywhere other than You first. Thank You that You provide people to come alongside us as Your hands, heart and voice, making Your grace tangible. Show us how to love others in a way that does just that – extends Your hands, heart and voice to those needing Your love made visible in dark and sorrowful spaces. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek and rely on You to be our Wonderful Counselor in all things and at all times. Amen.

 

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

 

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

 

 

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

Help Us to See

Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods, they thought they were in control, but look what God did! – (Exodus 18:11, ERV)

Now I know with all my heart that the Eternal is greater than all gods because of the way He delivered His people when Egyptians in their arrogance abused them. – (Exodus 18:11, VOICE)

 

These words were spoken to Moses by his father-in-law, Jethro, after Moses led his people out of captivity in Egypt. Like so many of us, Jethro needed something solid to see to truly believe. The very same God that led Moses to set the captives free from slavery in Egypt, is still alive and active today. When we seek Him and call on His Name, He moves mightily on our behalf. Though Moses never had aspirations to lead the masses out of Egypt, God showed up and called him to something great. If we are willing to ask the Lord and believe in faith, there is no limit to what He will do. God is not like man that His ego will be bruised if we ask for Him to make Himself known to us in a tangible way. Our asking demonstrates our desire to know Him. The Lord is loving and kind and full of grace, and His hope is for all to one day seek His face. May we ever ask in spaces of uncertainty, and keep our eyes and hearts open to the everyday miracles as God moves all around us.

 

At times we need see, Healed Hands Reach Out

The hand of the Lord;

Power tangible,

All grace He affords.

For though we need faith,

It too helps to see;

The movement of God,

To help us believe.

Oh Lord, by Your love,

Make Your heart be known;

So people seeking,

In Your grace, find home.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make Yourself known in tangible ways. Thank You that You have moved mightily throughout the ages. Thank You that we can come to You and ask to see You move in ways that are visible to our human eyes. Forgive us for our lack of faith or for our blind eyes to the work of Your hand that is all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize the countless miracles that take place all around us, and have faith in all that we cannot see. Show us how to love those around us in a way that gives hope and grace and peace where it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ask for evidence of the things that we are unsure about, and give You praise for the faith that You grow greater in us each day. Amen.

 

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

 

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

Come Close

Come close to God, and God will come close to you… – (James 4:8a, NLT)

 

Everyone has heard stories of receiving that dreaded phone call – the one that announces unfortunate news of a loved one, causing an immediate emotional response, and a quick call to action. Yesterday morning, that phone call came to me. At the start of my second period class, I received a frantic phone call from my Mom. It was miraculous that I was at my computer taking attendance when she called, otherwise I would not have even seen her photo pop up on my phone screen, as I keep my ringer off during class. She never calls during school hours, so on a whim, I answered. On the other end of the line, I heard a voice that I barely recognized as hers, telling me that she’d been in a horrible accident. When I asked if she was okay, her response was simply, “no.” She was able to tell me her location, and I knew in that moment, that nothing mattered more than my getting to where she was to be present. My quick, internal, “Oh God, help me!” was followed by my class quickly being covered, a rapid exit from my room, and my arrival on the scene of the accident before the first responders had my mom loaded in the ambulance. Seeing her face and talking to her in person as I held her hand when I arrived at the accident site, brought a bit of peace, despite the destroyed car in front of me. The hardest span of time throughout the entire ordeal, was the time between leaving the scene and arriving at the hospital. Though I could see she had no lacerations visible, the internal and skeletal damage was unknown. All I could do was breathe and pray as I made my way, trusting that He had her in His hands. Thankfully, after two CT Scans, two x-rays, hours of waiting, blood draws and routine checking, Mom was given the all-clear (and the last few hours of her care were provided by a friend of mine who happened to be the nurse on shift in the ER), and walked away from an accident that could have taken her life. God protected and preserved the life of my Mom, and I am forever grateful. Though it is only the morning after, in hindsight, I already can look back and see how He covered and protected my Mom, surrounded and provided for me, as a way was made for me to get to her so quickly, as well as the loving community of friends and family that called, made themselves available, and sent messages to check on Mom as soon as they heard the news. Much of the time I spent waiting for Mom during her scans and x-rays, was utilized to reply to dear ones who were desiring updates on her well-being. I was back and forth between two phones, as the notes kept coming in. Last evening, two of my beloved favorites came to help with both the care of my Mom and to go and check on the status of her car, while another pair of dear former neighbors came to call on Mom to see that she was okay for themselves. God is so good, and He has provided and placed us both in kind and caring communities that are family. More than anything, this continues to show me how near God is in all things and at all times, and how He uses people to be His hands and heart when we hurt. May we ever draw close to God, for He will be near to us.

 

When that call comes in,ambulance

And hearts are dismayed;

Call upon the Lord,

He will not delay.

His presence made clear,

In tangible ways;

Hope and help to us,

As we seek and pray.

Choose draw closer still,

For God will be near;

He calms anxious hearts,

His love covers fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we draw near to You, You are right here, waiting. Thank You that You are faithful to bring peace to our anxious hearts, and surround us with support and encouragement when it is needed most. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we walk into the unknown. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love and encourage those around us in times of peace and in times of turmoil. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we draw ever nearer to You. 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

Sit Not in Suffering

Yet it was our suffering He carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness. – (Isaiah 53:4a, VOICE)

Yet it was our weakness He carried; it was our sorrow that weighed Him down. – (Isaiah 53:4a, NLT)

 

Every pain and every sorrow is known by our Savior. He willingly and lovingly bore the weight on our behalf as He hung upon the cross. Death and darkness were defeated on that day, so though trials and tragedies will come our way, in Christ, the ultimate victory is ours. May we rise up in hope as we trust in the Lord, knowing that our eternal outcome will be in the precious peace of His presence forever.

 

The pain and sorrow,Refreshment Through Repentance

That happen to us;

Don’t escape notice,

Of our Lord Jesus.

He already bore,

The weight of our woes;

As we come to Him,

He gets it, He knows.

It was His great love,

That bore all our strife;

So we could be free,

As His love brings life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly chose to bear our suffering, sin, weakness and pain, so that You not only could identify with us, but could love us back to life again. Thank You that You forgive us and set us free from the things that weigh us down, and offer new life in You. Forgive us for sitting in our suffering rather than reaching out to You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Healer and our Hope. Show us how to love those around us in ways that ease pain and offer comfort, allowing Your heart to be made visible through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all of our trials to You, and trust You to be our ever-present help and hope. 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

Safe in the Light

Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.” – (John 11:10, NLT)

 

Light reveals the truth, and makes that which we are meant to see – visible. Jesus came to be the light of the world, and in Him, there are no shadows. We are charged to seek Him, and walk in His light, so that we may clearly know which way to go. As we pursue the Lord and His path for us, He makes the way plain. Our charge and our choice is to follow in the light, or to wander off into the shadows. May we be quick to choose to walk in His light, for in Him, there are no shadows at all. Let the Lord lead us as we live in the light of His love.

 

Despite how we feel,I Will Go

There’s one way to go;

To walk in His light,

So truth shall be known.

All safety is found,

When we stay in light;

For the Lord makes known,

The way that is right.

Stay close to the One,

Who is love and grace;

For He will make plain,

The path we’re to take.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we walk in the light of Your truth, we are safe. Thank You that You provide light for us in the spaces of darkness, and that in You, there are no shadows at all. Forgive us for attempting to navigate on our own through the dark, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would be sensitive to Your every leading. Show us how 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 place all of our trust in You and walk in the light of Your truth. 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

Invisible Qualities Clearly Seen

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. – (Romans 1:20)

 

The hand of God is evident everywhere. One cannot go beyond the boundary of their own home, before the senses are assaulted with the beauty of creation. All that is seen from the earth to the sky, has been created by the mighty hand of God. Each of us, within us, has a space that knows there is One greater than us, by whom we were created. We have a free will and the choice to either accept or reject the truth; but regardless of our choice, the truth remains.

 

The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. – (Psalm 97:6)

 

God in His goodness is visible, even to those who are not searching. How much more available is His heart to the world through us? Though God makes His eternal power and divine nature visible through all that He has created; that is only part of the story. Without people willing to share of His Son, who He sent into the world to set us free from our sin and shame, they’d never know the power of Christ’s redemption, nor of the Spirit’s direction. God grants both total forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son, and guidance and direction for our lives through His Holy Spirit. His invisible qualities are made tangible as we invest our lives and hearts in Him. May we allow the Lord to lead us so that He who is eternal, may be clearly seen and understood by all.

 

Since the dawn of time,sunset (2)

God’s work has been seen;

through hand-painted skies,

to glowing moonbeams.

Wherever we look,

there is evidence;

of One far greater,

than our circumstance.

The heavens proclaim,

of His righteousness;

all see His glory,

through His faithfulness.

Yet, how will they see,

that there is much more;

forgiveness and grace,

Jesus, our Savior?

It is up to us,

to choose listen well;

to do what Christ asks,

and of His truth, tell.

For if we don’t speak,

then how will they know?

Each one needs the chance,

to learn and to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your invisible qualities have been clearly seen through the splendor of all that You have created. Thank You that You did not simply stop with glorious creation, but You sent Your one and only Son to set us free from the bonds of sin in which we had become entangled. Forgive us for not embracing the grace and goodness that You have given, or for keeping quiet when You provide us opportunity to share of all that You have done for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go forth boldly, wherever You call us to go. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they can clearly see Your heart through ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we observe Your glory all around us and go forth and tell of all that You have done. 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

Balance Within the Body

Yesterday in church, my pastor unpacked Romans 12, verses one through eight. At one point in the process, he jokingly said, I am a colon.” His jest was not to poke fun at any portion of scripture, but rather to draw attention to the fact that though we seldom consider our colon, it is indeed an essential body part. The same is true in the body of Christ. There are those who are highly visible in their giftings and as they operate openly in what God has called them to do, others are aware of their role in the body. However, there are others whom are fulfilling equally important roles that are less visible. If we are choosing to allow the Lord to lead us, and are willing to grant Him access to all so that we may fully operate in the giftings which He has placed within us, then the whole body will benefit, regardless of whether or not our part is visible.

 

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. – (Romans 12:4-8)

 

As an interesting aside, though the colon is hidden, it removes water, salt, and some nutrients. The bacteria that line the colon help maintain a healthy balance within the body. (WebMD) Likewise, there are those in the body that act as filters, and truly help maintain a healthy balance within the body. Regardless of the role to which we are individually called, we each have a purpose and a position that is meant to edify the body and bring forth the full potential of that which God has for us and those around us. May we each rise up and fulfill the role to which we have been called.

 

We are the body,

#iamacolon

#iamacolon

and each have a role;

if one’s not moving,

the body’s not whole.

Each part is needed,

to work as God planned;

so move forth in faith,

in grace, take a stand.

Allow God to lead,

however He asks;

and trust it is good,

to answer each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have uniquely designed each of us to play an equally important role in the body of Christ. Though not all roles are as visible as others, thank You that each one is necessary and valuable for the body to function as You intended. Forgive us for either neglecting the gifts that You have placed within us, or for comparing our role to that of another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You and allow You to use us as You have equipped us – in whatever way is most beneficial to the body. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they too discover that they were uniquely designed with a purpose. Be glorified O God, as we operate in the giftings that You have given unto us. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Power Visible Through Action

As a gymnastics coach and teacher, I continually am reminding kids to let their actions do the talking. Rather than tell me that they are going to work harder or do better, I remind them to show me – for their actions speak volumes more clearly than their words. Those who continue to pursue excellence end up excelling, yet those who simply talk about it and never follow through, end up falling short of their true potential. The same is true for us in our walk with God. No, it is not about doing enough nor being enough, yet our charge is to put our faith into action. His power is made visible through us, yet the opportunity for others to see becomes clear only when we choose to step out of our own four walls and do whatever it is that He is asking.

 

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. – (1 Corinthians 4:20)

 

Our faith is meaningless if it is merely talk that is never taken to task. God’s power is made evident through our actions – by how we walk out our life each day. If we talk the talk but do not walk the walk, our words are worthless. Consistent care and concern for others with the heart of Christ over time, is a viable witness to His word. Yes, there is a time to speak, and that too can be an opportunity for Christ’s power to be made evident, yet most often, there is movement required and ongoing steps of faith before words are ever utilized. May we allow our actions to demonstrate Christ’s power, as we rise up and walk out our faith each day.

 

The kingdom of God,Power Visible Through Action

is not about talk;

but of God’s power,

as we walk the walk.

Our words are empty,

if deeds don’t align;

His power is seen,

through faith over time.

May we each rise up,

and walk out each day;

faithful to His call,

let’s trust and obey.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your kingdom is not a matter of talk, but rather it is one of power and promise for all who place their trust in You. Thank You that as we trust You, You lead us to live out our lives in the power that You provide. Forgive us for the times when we have known the right answers, but merely discussed them rather than walked them out. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move in faith the moment we hear Your call. Lead us to love others in the power that You provide, so that they may see You in us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we walk out our faith with action. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Live in Light

image by MamaOwlPhoto

image by MamaOwlPhoto

We were once lost in darkness,

now are lavished in His light;

therefore live as His children,

steer clear of the deeds of night.

Focus on the fruit of day,

full of good and truth and right;

expose the deeds of darkness,

get caught not in evil’s plight.

Everything that is hidden,

will be visible one day;

so we need be wise in life,

and use care with what we say.

Make the most of each new day,

and understand the Lord’s will;

don’t give in to drunkenness,

instead, seek His Spirit’s fill.

Speak to each other, sweet words,

that encourage weary hearts;

sing and make music to God,

for our everyday fresh start.

(Responding to Ephesians 5:8-20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your loving light comes and dwells in us, not when we are “good enough”, but whenever we choose to invite You in.  Thank You that You do not call the “qualified”, but You qualify the called. (all who trust in You!)  Forgive us for allowing our focus anywhere other than You, and help us to expose anything hidden in our hearts so that You may bring healing.  Help us to heed the wisdom and warnings You provide, and may we make the most of each moment we are given.  May our words and deeds demonstrate Your great love to those who are lacking, and may many come to live in Your light as a result.  All glory and honor to You, God.  Amen.

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

See also, Let it Shine