What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? Each of us bears a name that has been bestowed upon us by those who have raised us. For many, the name selected either has familial significance, or was chosen based on the actual meaning of the name. There are others, however, whose parents simply selected a name that they were fond of, and went with it.

 

For me, my parents wanted to celebrate our Irish ancestry and selected my first name from a map of Ireland. Interestingly, Shannon means Godly wisdom. Though I am not wise in my own strength, He has given me wisdom and insight at pivotal points in my life, as it has been needed. My middle name, Elizabeth, is after my grandmother, whom I admire most in my family. As we share this middle name, it too, has significant meaning. Elizabeth means, “my God is an oath.” He is a promise that is held in my life, and He provides wisdom as it is needed. Both are beautiful blessings. However, before I was ever born, He knew me and called me His own. The name that matters far more than any other, is the one in which He refers to us as “MINE.” We are His – kept, valued, loved, and planned with a purpose.

 

Listen to me, you islands; hear this you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb He has spoken my name. – (Isaiah 49:1)

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

What is in a name,What is in a Name

bestowed unto us?

For before our birth,

were plans of Jesus.

He called us by name,

with purpose in mind;

hand-crafted in love,

carefully designed.

Each one created,

uniquely we’re made;

with significance,

meant to be displayed.

Gifts that He’s given,

intended to share;

so others may know,

His kindness and care.

Rise up in courage,

share all He has done;

for as we go forth,

the battle is won.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have chosen and called us by name, even before we were born. Thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for our lives, and that Your plans are good. Thank You that no matter what our earthly name means, the most significant name that we carry is the one that deems us Your children. Forgive us for questioning our value or purpose, or the value or purpose of others. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may recognize Your workmanship in ourselves and others, and celebrate the strengths that You have placed in all of us for Your glory. Lead us to love others well, so that we might walk out our purpose as You intended. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to know and embrace the name by which You call us all – MINE. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – I Chronicles 16:31

Glory to God

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being. – (Revelation 4:11, NIV)

 

Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You made all things. Everything existed and was made because You wanted it. – (Revelation 4:11, ERV)

 

Worthy is defined as having great merit, character or value; and our Lord God, sets the standard for each. All power is His, and He alone, deserves all glory and honor from us, His created. Additionally, all that was created and brought into existence, was done purposefully; because God wanted it to be so. We are His workmanship, how can we help but praise Him?

 

The Lord created,Glory to God

He spoke and breathed life;

all things that exist,

Love’s true sacrifice.

Though He knew our hearts,

and choices we’d make;

He called us to be,

we’re not a mistake.

At just the right time,

He set forth His plan;

to again restore,

relations with man.

Jesus came for us,

so that we might know;

the depth of His love,

sacrificial show.

Death could not defeat,

the power of God;

He rose and gave life,

let our lives applaud.

May we all rise up,

and offer all praise;

give glory to God,

with all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Lord and God, worthy of all glory and honor and praise! Thank You that all power is Yours, as You created all things intentionally. Thank You that though You knew that we would sin and sever right relationship with You, You breathed life into us anyway. Thank You that You made the way for us to be restored unto You through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You Jesus, for bearing the weight of all of our sin and shame, so that we could enter into a right relationship with You. Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, or for not giving proper praise unto You, who deserves ALL of our praise. Teach us to trust You more, so that our entire life would be a reflection of our gratitude for Your goodness. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they come to understand who You are, and what You have done for each of us, individually. Be exalted Lord God, as we glorify You with all of our days. Amen.

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

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

The Power of Choice

One of the greatest strengths that we have, is found through the power of choice. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God gave Moses a choice, and the choice that was offered to Moses, is the same choice that we are offered still, daily. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. – (Deuteronomy 30:19)

 

In order to choose life and blessings, we must choose Him. If we choose God, we also choose to follow His commands. Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. – (Deuteronomy 30:11) Christ does not ask anything of us, that He is not also willing to strengthen and equip us to do. We have been granted a free will, yet if we truly believe that we are His workmanship, created to do good works for Him, then our choices should be a clear reflection of such. May we go forth this day choosing life, so that His light may clearly shine through us.

 

A mighty strength,The Power of Choice

in each of us;

power of choice,

through Christ Jesus.

Free will granted,

we each may choose;

to walk in light,

in all we do.

No task too great,

nor out of reach;

if we depend,

on Him to teach.

For each new step,

He will make known;

how we’re to move,

way shall be shown.

For He is good,

His love endures;

He grants His strength,

and hope secured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us a free will to choose which way to go. Thank You that when we choose You, we are choosing life. Thank You that You bless and equip us to do all that You ask, and that nothing is too difficult nor beyond our reach, if we are empowered by You. Thank You that we are Your workmanship, created by You, to do good things. Forgive us for making choices that do not reflect who we are in You, and help us to choose wisely, as we listen and learn through Your Holy Spirit within. Make us strong to trust You more. Lead us to say yes and amen to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result of our obedience. Help us to love others as You so completely love each of us. Be exalted, Lord God, as we choose You in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Prepared for Change

Seemingly, one of the things that we can count on in this life, is change. It is a strange phenomena to feel as if you have found your purpose, spent your time, energy, and heart operating in it, and then discover that the time is coming to a close. What I had imagined would be a long-term plan, was really only a season. My new teaching assignment for the coming school year will impact more students, yet provide less opportunity to get to know them as well. In the new, I will have to trust that He has called me and prepared me for what is yet to come, and operate in confidence as His created for the task that lies ahead.

 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – (Ephesians 2:10)

 

Though I was surprised by the sudden change in assignment for the coming year, God was not. I am His, and He has prepared me for what lies ahead. He has a purpose for placing me in a different role, and I have to trust that His good, will be accomplished.

 

Lord, I am Yours,Prepared for Change

I lay down what’s mine;

to You, I give,

my trust and my time.

Though I can’t see,

the reason for change;

I will embrace,

assignment exchange.

You have prepared,

me for this new task;

so, here am I,

to do as You ask.

Prepare my heart,

for what lies ahead;

show me Your will,

let each step be led.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us to do good work that You prepared in advance for us. Thank You that change does not surprise You. Thank You that though we may not see it, each step that we take, prepares us for the next. Forgive us for our fearfulness and resistance to change, and help us to embrace each new assignment. May we be effective in all that we do, as we choose to do all things unto You. Let our life demonstrate Your love and faithfulness to all whom we encounter, and may many come to know You, personally, as a result. May we do good works that glorify You, O God. Amen.

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

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Giving Gifts

As we enter this season of gift exchanging, it is easy to allow thoughts of what we are going to give those we love most, to overwhelm us.  It is a natural desire to want to bless those who bless us.  That being said, what gift can we give to Him who has given us the greatest gifts of all – our very life, and breath, hope, and future?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – (Ephesians 2:8-9)  His gift to us is one that is freely given, that we do not deserve.  We cannot earn it, nor can we somehow repay the blessing He has provided.  All that we can do is receive what we have been given, and respond with gratitude, praise and joy.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – (Ephesians 2:10)  Because we are created, hand-crafted works of art, His intent is that we share ourselves with the world.  Not in our own efforts, but by His grace, as He presents opportunities – we ought to be open and willing to share of the great things that He has done in us.  The gifts that we give best, are those that He has created in us, that we choose to use as He intended for us all along.

What gift shall I give,Giving Gifts

to my God and King?

For He has made all,

He’s everything.

A heart that is true,

and willing to give;

my time, my talents,

unto Him, I live.

The grace He’s given,

I will too, extend;

for without mercy,

our lives would all end.

I’ll give You my more,

so I become less;

may You be Who’s seen,

so many are blessed.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You gave, and continue giving, not because we have earned it or deserve it somehow, but rather because You are a gracious and merciful God, who loves us with an everlasting love.  Thank You that You made the way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with You, through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus.  Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all who believe, to lead, guide and equip us to do Your will.  Thank You that we are Your hand-crafted works of art, created with a purpose.  Forgive us for disregarding Your power that dwells within us, when we feel that we have nothing to offer.  Thank You that in You, we always have You to extend – Your grace, Your love, Your mercy, Your hope.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to hear You clearly, so that we may move confidently as we navigate this Christmas season.  May many come to know the greatest gift of all this season, as they choose eternal life in You.  Let our light shine brightly before all.  Amen.

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

Guided in Grace

As one might expect

image by Jack Brauer

image by Jack Brauer

conflict did arise,

over what was right

before God’s own eyes.

So they sought the Word,

wisdom of the wise.

Listened to leaders,

followed compromise.

Though the law was good,

God’s grace, much greater.

Priorities set,

no issues later.

No food for idols,

nor sexual sin.

Don’t eat strangled meat.

Nor with blood still in.

The list of the guidelines,

was received by all.

Dependent on grace,

to answer God’s call.

Gentile believers,

accepted with joy,

clarification;

the truth to employ.

(Responding to Acts 15:1-35)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the purpose of Your laws and precepts was to draw Your people closer unto Yourself – in purity and with purpose.  Thank You that You still seek us out for the very same reason, as each of us were created to be in relationship with You, our Creator.  Forgive us for trying to follow the letter of the law in our own strength, or for somehow trying to do or be enough.  Thank You that in You, we are equipped and empowered to do Your will and walk in Your way.  Thank You that because we are Your workmanship, created in Your likeness, we are enough in You.  May we move in confidence, knowing that You have created and called us for every step we take – be it through the valleys or on the mountaintops.  Thank You that You use both to shape us and show us more of Yourself.  May many come to know You by Your reflection that radiates through us.  Amen.

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