Sing Praise

I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. – (Psalm 69:30, NIV)

I will praise God’s Name in song. I will honor Him by giving Him thanks. – (Psalm 69:30, ERV)

Then I will praise God with my singing! My thanks will be His praise. – (Psalm 69:30, TLB)

 

During my quick turn-around at home, I was able to spend time with my boys and attend early service at my church prior to driving back to Wenatchee yesterday. During worship, there were moments that the words would be stuck behind the lump in my throat, yet my heart was still singing His praise. Fast-forward to my drive, and I had plenty of time to reflect on my own. Anyone in my close circle who has road-tripped with me, knows that I actually enjoy blasting a variety of music and singing at the top of my lungs. At first, the heaviness in my heart needed a little… hmm… let’s just say Skillet fit the bill best. (They also happen to be my favorite jam for running) Anyway, the heaviness began to give way to hope, and I switched gears and began to listen to worship music. There was something powerful about singing praise. A calm came over me, and all I could think about was how different this drive to Wenatchee was than my drive had been one week prior. One week ago, Mark was driving me into the unknown. We had received devastating news after investigating the prompting within us, and did not have any idea of the condition mom would be in when we arrived. This time, I had so much to be thankful for: we are so grateful to still have mom (we know that so often people in similar circumstances do not have such a fortunate fate), she is able to understand everything, she can communicate clearly, she has feeling in her right side (which is hopeful, even with the current paralysis of the right arm and leg), we have an incredible army supporting us all – in Wenatchee, Federal Way, Albany, across the country, and around the world (we are overwhelmed in the very best way by the outpouring of love and support!), and we, above all else, have a God in heaven who loves and heals, holds and moves, and has us all in the palm of His hands.

Last evening, after I had returned and spent several hours at the hospital with Meg and Mom, my sister and I went to the acute care facility on a scouting mission. We managed to talk our way in, and were very pleased with both the people that we met and the facility and how it is set up. Our biggest prayer now is that the move actually occurs today, as scheduled, and that there are no insurance or medical obstacles to prevent the move. Mom is more than ready to get out of the hospital and begin being far more active than the hospital setting allows. She is still not ready to have visitors outside of family or those we consider “framily” (friends so close that they have become an extension of the family). For those who love her dearly and are eager to visit, please be patient and know that waiting is best for her healing. In the meantime, you are welcome to download Marco Polo and send her a video message, send a card, a text message, etc. She still is not interested in her phone, but we will take it each day to show videos or read messages that are encouraging.

May we praise Him with songs of thanksgiving, for He is worthy of all of our thanks and praise.

 

When I’m lost for words,

0506190538a_hdr986984744164652228.jpg

View from Mom’s back deck. ❤

Or sound won’t give way;

My hearts still shall sing,

Lord, ever I’ll praise.

No matter what comes,

You always are good;

When my world’s shattered,

Beside me, You’ve stood.

You never leave me,

Ever You stay near;

You point me to hope,

And silence my fear.

Each morning I rise,

And greet the new day;

I give all to You,

O Lord, lead the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness to us, even in this. Thank You that You love us in tangible ways, as You have surrounded us with an army of warriors, ready to serve. Thank You for making Your presence and Your blessings so abundantly clear, even in the midst of the hardest circumstances. Forgive us for our spaces of fear and doubt. Teach us to trust You more, as You are far greater than anything that stands in the way of Your will being done. Remind our hearts to sing when our voices cannot find the words. Continue to place Your song in our hearts, as Your song is truth and life and light. Show us how to love those around us in a way that shares Your tune. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as our lives sing Your song of praise each day that we draw breath. Amen.

 

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

 

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. – 1 Chronicles 16:9

 

 

 

 

 

Courage Comes

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. – (Joshua 1:9, MSG)

 

As my sister and I navigate these days with our mom, into this vast unknown, there are many barriers and bumps that cause fear and discouragement. On our own, we would be huddled in the corner in the fetal position, rocking back and forth in a puddle of tears; sorrow and fear, anger and devastation overtaking us. Thankfully, we are not on our own. The battle belongs to the Lord, and He has surrounded us with an army of warriors who love fiercely – from our families, friends who are framily, to all those near and far who love mom deeply. Even the hospital staff is wonderful, and they are fighting fiercely to deal with the insurance loopholes required to move her to the very best acute care facility available. Mom continues to make progress with her speaking, at least when she is relaxed and speaking with Megan and me, but we are finding that she struggles when there are more than one or two people in the room, particularly those she does not know really well. Words are far more difficult to find when she is put on the spot, and when she feels pressed, she becomes quiet and just shakes her head with a disgusted smile. That smile makes me die inside a little more, each time I see it. My mama bear instincts rise up, and I want to throat punch people who say foolish things that do NOT encourage her, or motivate her to keep pressing forward. There are some enormous decisions to be made, and I am in need of covering as I contact HR to find out what my options are for FML in the coming weeks. What we do know is that mom will be at the Good Samaritan Acute Care Facility in Puyallup. Additionally, through dear friends, we have discovered that a mutual friend is actually on staff there! We see evidence of God’s hands all over this journey, it is just a road we wish we’d never had to walk. God knows, and we know He is with us; we just need to keep our eyes and ears open for the reminders. Humanity is fragile, but God is strong. May we ever depend on Him to be our strength and courage for every step we take.

 

Be strong, take courage, img_2019-05-02_06-41-226964497963981900913.jpg

For our Lord is near;

Despite what we see,

We need never fear.

Into His great hands,

We are firmly held;

The strength of His love,

Cause doubts be dispelled.

Lean into Jesus,

For in Him is found;

All safety and grace,

In strength, to abound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength in weakness, and that You are our courage when we feel afraid. Forgive us for our fear of what we perceive, as we only see in part, what You already know. Lord Jesus, please go before us and prepare the way. Orchestrate the transportation to the new facility for mom – the very best and most comfortable method to safely transport; the timing that You have already set in place; please expedite the insurance paperwork and grant favor so that the current out-of-network status will be overturned, and above all else, continue to bring complete and total healing and restoration to mom. May her heart and mind and attitude be an example to those who do not know You yet, and draw others into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, even in this, for You are good, even when circumstances are not. Amen.

 

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

 

Be still and know that I am God… – Psalm 46:10a

Freedom from Fear

I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. – (Psalm 34:4, NLT)

 

Typically, I don’t think that people who know me would consider me to be fearful. In fact, often my sense of adventure leads people to believe that fear is seldom on my radar. Unfortunately, fear has a way of creeping into unexpected cracks, and wreaking havoc where we least expect it. Strength, courage and boldness come more easily in areas that the Lord has shown His faithfulness before. However, there are spaces where prior experience sends up all sorts of red flags, and fear fights to prevent forward momentum where we are called to move. This, this is the place where persistence in prayer is the only way past our past. As we pray, He is faithful to meet us, take us by the hand, and lead us forward into the freedom that He intended for us all along. When we find ourselves face-to-face with fear, may we pray to the Lord for His help; for He is faithful to meet us in our need and lead us to the freedom He designed for us for all our days.

 

No one is fearless,photo (10)

For fear finds a way;

To rise and threaten,

Where peace ought to reign.

We’re not to be stuck,

Nor crippled by fear;

For God will answer,

Each prayer, He hears.

He grants us courage,

To face the unknown;

Provides new freedom,

Where our faith is grown.

Rise up warriors,

Pray, for He is near;

The Lord will answer,

And free us from fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can pray to You, and You answer us. Thank You that You are the One who will take us by the hand and walk us through the places that we are held captive by fear. Forgive us for not calling on You for help and staying stuck in the spaces where fear holds us prisoner. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring each fear before You as it is identified, and trust You to lead us forward, despite what we see or have experienced in the past. Show us how to walk beside people in the strength of Your love, so that they too may find freedom from the fears that keep them captive. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give our fears to You, and trust You to set us free. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

 

Strength and Courage are Commanded

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

 

When I am afraid or leery of something that I know I need to do, this verse always comes to mind. What has been absent as I have recalled these words, has been the first phrase – “This is My command“. Not only does God call me to be strong and courageous in Him; He commands it. He promises me to be present wherever I go, so it is my job to seek strength and courage from He who is with me. Today, these are once again going to be words that work as a sort of anthem as I go. I am extremely claustrophobic, and I have to have an MRI on my back to determine the extent of the damage. Already, the injury itself triggers fear and discouragement, and the thought of being stuck in a tube that clanks all around me is not a pleasant one. As I go, I have to be mindful that He is with me. If my eyes are fixed on Him, knowing that He is right there, holding me in the palm of His hand, I need not fear. More than that, He has commanded me to be strong and brave – not in my own strength, but in His. If He is for me, what can stand against me? Though this is an unpleasant obstacle, it is temporary. God is my healer, and He has given man wisdom to help heal bodies as well. There need not be fear on my part, for He has already gone before me to prepare the way, and He will walk beside me as I go. I have been carried thus far, and can trust that He will see me through until total health is restored. He is good, and I will trust in Him. May we remember that He commands us to be strong and brave in Him, because He is with us wherever we go.

 

For the Lord commands,Bold in Battle

Have courage, don’t fear;

As He goes with us,

His promise is clear.

We must choose be brave,

Fight discouragement;

in the Lord’s presence,

Is where we’re content.

No matter what comes,

Nor where we must go;

The Lord is with us,

His presence made known.

Rise up warriors,

Be strong in the fight;

Fear not what we face,

For God is our light.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that not only can we find strength and courage in You, but You actually command us to do just that! Thank You that You promise to be with us wherever we go, so that we need not fear, no matter what we face. Forgive us for our fear and discouragement in the face of things that are so much greater than we can handle on our own. Teach us to trust in You, remembering that You are far greater than anything that we face or go through. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we may provide encouragement to the discouraged and courage to those in fear, just as You do for us. Let Your light be what is evident in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are strong and brave in You, fending off fear and discouragement because You are with us wherever we go. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

Patient Endurance

Any time there is repetition in scripture, I tend to take notice.  This morning, is no exception.  In reading Revelation 10-14, in between the intensity of angels and trumpets, dragon and beast, witnesses and warriors, a woman and child, the Lamb and the ensuing end, to name just a hint at the happenings – one sentence repeats both in Revelation 13:10b, and again, in Revelation 14:12.

“This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” – (13:10b)

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep His commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” – (14:12)

Patient endurance is the God-given ability to suffer without yielding.  This comes as an impartation granted to the people of God – those who choose to faithfully follow Him.  It does not mean that only the “holier than thou” will endure to the end, but rather those who embrace the grace that He gives, and are intentional to earnestly seek Him.  He is faithful and just, and honors the hearts that call on His Name.

When trials come,

and temptations play;Patient Endurance

call on His Name,

and steadfast you’ll stay.

For He will grant,

all that we shall need;

to in Him endure,

evil’s frenzied feed.

We are each called,

to be faithful, true;

He will remain,

when trials ensue.

Don’t trust in sight,

but instead, in Him;

the world may fade,

His light never dims.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to model patient endurance and faithfulness.  Despite persecution, trouble, trials, and ultimately death on the cross, He patiently endured, never yielding to the temptation to claim His rightful power and authority, for He came to fulfill the purpose You had placed before Him, and He was faithful to endure to the end.  Thank You Jesus, for not only showing us the way, but for sending Your Holy Spirit, so that we are never on our own when we need Your wisdom and strength.  Forgive us for taking lightly the magnitude of the sacrifice that You made on our behalf, so that we might approach Your throne of grace, and enter into an eternal relationship with You.  Help us to live in such a way, that we honor You and all that You have done.  May many come to know Your saving grace as we live our lives in love, just as You have loved us.  We lift up all those who are currently patiently enduring suffering for the sake of Your Name.  Please strengthen and encourage each one, and grant them favor with their captors.  Grant them freedom soon, I pray.  All glory and honor to You.  Amen.

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

The Power of Prayer

image by Lynn Roey

image by Lynn Roey

We are urged, first of all,

to pray without ceasing;

intercession for all,

faith ever increasing.

Pray for every leader,

and person placed in charge,

despite how they’re leading,

our God’s answers are large.

It is only through Him,

that a heart may be changed;

peace from the warriors,

sanity from deranged.

Pray that all may find peace,

lives in His holiness,

as the Savior is sought,

make known His godliness.

There is only one God,

and one Mediator;

between God and all men,

in Jesus, our Savior.

For He was a ransom,

given in proper time;

provider of purpose,

with salvation in mind.

(Responding to I Timothy 2:1-7)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder of the power provided through our prayers. Forgive us for complaining or for finding faults, rather than lifting our leaders up in prayer. Thank You that You have the power to change even the most seemingly wayward heart. Teach us to trust You, and allow Your Spirit to lead us in how we ought to pray for those placed in authority over us. Thank You that above all, You are our ultimate Authority, to whom we all must one day answer. May our every answer unto You, be yes and amen. Use our obedience to lead those who are looking, into Your loving embrace. Amen.

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

Finding Freedom’s Flight

As Moses recounts

image by Frankie Pierce

image by Frankie Pierce

the arduous walk,

he highlights lessons,

as part of his talk.

What stood out the most,

in detailed account,

was the fear they had –

the places of doubt.

For early in route,

they came to the land,

the place of promise.

The peak of God’s plan.

Beautiful country

where good things did flow.

Lived in by warriors.

Wait, did He say go?

Fear made them question,

so they sent in spies.

God would protect them,

then they told such lies.

Eleven-day trip,

turned into forty, (years)

such fearful detour,

killed off so many.

God gives us power,

when He says to go.

We must choose to trust,

let faith start to flow.

Courage is waiting.

He’ll gladly supply,

all that is needed

to rise up and fly.

So spread wide your wings,

and prepare to soar.

Let go of the weights,

and receive His more.

(Responding to Deuteronomy 1 and 2)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You supply what we need to overcome obstacles.  Please forgive us for our fear and skepticism that get in the way.  Teach us to trust You despite difficulties, and help us to live courageous lives with overcoming faith.  May our trust in You help others find their way into the life everlasting with You.  Amen.

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