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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

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The Unchanging Nature of God

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, NIV)

 

God wanted to prove that His promise was true. He wanted to prove this to those who would get what He promised. He wanted them to understand clearly that His purposes never change. So God said something would happen, and He proved what He said by adding an oath. These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when He says something, and He cannot lie when He makes an oath. So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, ERV)

 

If God says it, He does it. Who He is, will not change. We can trust God to be true to both His nature and His word. Our hope is secure forever in Him. May we grasp the truth that we are sons and daughters – heirs of God – called His children, promised both His presence now and a permanent place dwelling with Him forever, in Heaven. Because He does not change, neither should our hold on hope.

 

True to His word,The Unchanging Nature of God

His promises true;

He will not change,

nor lie unto you.

He is safe space,

to Whom we can run;

our hope to hold,

’til our day is done.

Heaven awaits,

for the faithful ones;

those who choose trust,

as daughters and sons.

Rise up in hope,

children of the King;

may our lives be,

pleasing offerings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not change and that You keep Your promises forever. Thank You that You are a space of safety whom we can run to, and are faithful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that not only do You forgive and redeem us, but You adopt us as sons and daughters; heirs of Your holy inheritance. Thank You that when we choose to place our trust in You, our hope is secured in Heaven forever. Forgive us for our faltering faith, and for our lack of trust. Teach us to see things through Your lens, so that we might have an eternal perspective, recognizing that You will have the final say in all things. Help us to live our lives in love as You so lavishly love us. May many come to know the peace of Your promises as we pursue Your path for our lives. Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may our lives be a pleasing offering unto You. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

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Week Three of the CPE Journey: Two Sides of Ministry

There is no doubt that ministry is multifaceted. In a sense it means being all things to all people. It encompasses being available if only to show support. This weekend as I was on call at Huguley Hospital the idea of presence presented to me an area I had yet to experience. On the one hand my presence was to extend joy to a joyful family. On the other hand joy was hard to find yet presence became paramount in the ministry that was set before me.

As I started my tour of duty early Friday morning I met a family near the labor and delivery unit of the hospital. I could not help but here the talking and laughter. Using my position as chaplain I thought it reasonable to go speak with the people that were in a light form of celebration. I was so glad I did because the family did much for me. This was particularly true see how this was a military family with a young lass being born on the Fourth of July. What joy! What celebration! What a moment to be in the company of those who celebrate life while the tending to the presence that was learned in the first week of CPE.

And as the day went on I continued dealing with a number of issues. Then came a dramatic call late in the morning while I was being present with another patient. It was a “code blue” in the emergency room. A lady suffered a heart attack. By the time I arrived to the emergency room the patient was already deceased. I met the doctor as he explained the situation to me. We walked together with a nurse to the family room. To say the mood was somber is to place a major understatement on the matter. I sat quietly while the doctor explained to the loved ones what happened to the patient.

The doctor spoke to the family for a couple minutes as they began to grasp the fact that the person they loved would be no longer with them. The eldest sister was most expressive. She could not believe what had transpired. To my surprise the doctor offered to pray with the family and the family accepted the offer. So, the doctor and I got on one knee each in front of the grieving group and the doctor prayed a prayer of comfort. Meanwhile I had said very little but that my presence was important not only to the family but also to that most compassionate doctor. My perspective of doctors changed more positively as I simply maintained presence for the loved ones as well as the clinical staff.

There was much more that had to take place with those that loved the decedent. There was a need and desire to spend time with the one they would no longer be able to talk to. She, the decedent would no long ride her horse. Her voice was silenced forever. The family dinners would be met with an empty chair. Things just would not be same without this precious one. So I joined them in the room with the decedent. Again, while I did speak to the family I said very little. I simply was present. I was there just in case they needed me for something. And they did need me for a few things and I helped as much as I could to aid this grieving family. And I did just as the family asked me. I ran a couple errands and I grieved with them as much as I rejoiced with the family having a baby.

Hence the two sides of ministry are introduced. Scripture clearly teaches that the Christian is to weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice (Romans 12:15). These two side of ministry coupled with the idea of presence lend considerable credence to ministry. You see, many are under the impression that ministry is the continual onslaught of scripture coupled with homiletic diatribes that usually do little but inflate the ego of the one engaged in a senseless soliloquy. Laughing with those that laugh is a wonderful tool of ministry. Crying with those that cry is just as significant.

Certainly there are other sides of ministry yet the two sides described above show that the minister cares about those that he is ministering to. The fact is that people really don’t care what you know if they don’t know that you care. Ministry is more than an act of compassion rather the compassion is coupled with care. And while the terms “compassion” and “care” are often synonymous I would like to use some creative license to show that these two sides of ministry coupled with presence does more for those being ministered to than can be imagined.

In order to minister one need not wear the ecclesiastical cloak of the clergy rather all that is needed is the robe of concern and love for fellow men. With that I would urge all to minister not with head knowledge per se but rather from the idea of being present and willing to be quiet in that presence as we sharpen these two sides of ministry.

Approaching the Throne of Grace

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – (Hebrews 4:16)

 

Approaching the throne of grace is a fancy way of saying that we are meant to pray, to call on Christ, in our times of need. He wants us to come before Him with confidence, trusting that He is merciful and that His grace is enough to cover all that is required to continue on. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, continually interceding on our behalf. He understands our weaknesses and our struggles personally, as He Himself, experienced the same – without sin. His heart is for us, so we can come confidently, trusting that His grace is more than enough.

 

Let us approach,Approaching the Throne of Grace

the throne of His grace;

with confidence,

our hope to embrace.

Mercy awaits,

His grace is enough;

to meet our needs,

when the times are tough.

Pray to the One,

Who hears our heart cries;

our Source of strength,

Love never denies.

Answers may not,

look how we had hoped;

His way is best,

let’s trust His approach.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can approach the throne of Your grace with confidence, because You sent Your Son and made the way for us to receive mercy and find grace in our times of need. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that Your love for us is unending. Forgive us for our fearfulness when things do not align with the way we think they ought to go, and help us to trust You, in all things and at all times. Thank You that You are more than enough. Help us to live and love as You have designed us to do. May many come to know the saving grace available in You, as we walk with confidence as You have called us to do. Be glorified, O God, in every word, deed and prayer presented before You this day. 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

 

 

A Higher Plane

There is a battle going on,but contrary to the idea that this is a battle for the heart and mind of a country, it is instead a battle for the very souls of those who reside in it who claim the mantle of Christianity! What I am talking about is the children who are being used to divide a people. This is not just about country, nor is it even just about borders, immigration, or children!
These children are being used, some in the most vile ways. They are being raped, used to traffic drugs, used as distractions to let evil in, and being used to force a political viewpoint on those who have differing opinions. The way they are being used is evil, but that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is how we who profess to follow Christ react.
So many want to stop the madness, and that is understandable. They want to stop the influx and return the children to where they came from. But let me ask you this, if we become a wall and harden our hearts, who are we serving? If we turn the very vulnerable away, whose arms are we sending them into?
Is this love? This is not a matter of race, nor a matter of right or left political viewpoint! This is a battle on a higher plane! This is evil attempting to drive a wedge into the heart of those who profess to follow Christ. If we stand with shields in front of us repelling children, we are falling prey to the very evil we profess to abhor.
I am not saying that we should not stop those who are using this crisis and manipulating the laws of this country, but this is two very different problems. To think otherwise is to close your eyes.

 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”. – Ephesians 3:14-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians3:14-21&version=KJV

Anyone who loves Me

 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:22-27 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John14:22-27&version=NIVimg_25331.jpg

Finding Freedom

On this Independence Day, my heart cannot help but fix on the freedom I’ve found in Christ. My freedom is not a ticket to do as I please, but rather is my redemption from sin, and the recognition of my need for total dependence on Him to be righteous before God. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. – (Romans 6:18)

Our exchange the moment we choose to give our lives to the Lord, is that He takes the shackles of all of our sin and shame that have been binding us, and sets us free, so that we may live the lives He has prepared for us. Rather than being bound by the things we know we ought not do, we find the freedom to follow Him, listening to His still small voice, as He leads us and guides us in the ways in which we are meant to go. The former is fleeting and finds nothing but devastation and destruction. Choosing to follow Him, to place our dependence on Christ, is the only way to have eternity secured.

May we celebrate,Finding Freedom
the freedom we’ve found;
not to run amuck,
but in Christ, abound.
Redeemed from our sins,
all unrighteousness;
Christ has set us free,
robed in righteousness.
The freedom we have,
must not be squandered;
may we be His voice,
to those who’ve wandered.
On this freedom day,
may His love impart;
redemption for lost,
and seekers fresh start.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You above all, for the freedom we have in You – the freedom from being stuck in sin and shame. Thank You that You covered all as You paid the price on the cross. Thank You that when You look upon us, You see us as righteous, through the veil of Your Son. Thank You for the freedom that we know in our nation – to gather, to worship, and to speak freely of what we know to be true. Forgive us for taking our freedom for granted, and help our hearts to overflow with gratitude for all that You have done for us. Teach us to be completely dependent on You, so that we might better reflect who You are to all whom we encounter. May many come to know true independence today, and may they give You all the glory. Be exalted, O God, in all that we say and do. 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

Cancer Update

First thing I want to do is to say thank you all for the prayers,the support,the hope and the love you all have shown for me. This is the very essence of what Christ asks of us! He also asks of us to give testimony of His work and share His word with others! I am honored to be able to share my testimony with all of you prayer warriors. Tue. I had a biopsy and the Dr.said that there was no sign of the cancer!!!
The way God has blessed us in the last six months has been amazing my friends! While there have been many bad days, the good ones and the blessings outweigh those.When I initially told you of the diagnosis and asked for prayer, I asked that you also pray that I would get out of the way and let God lead. Lead He did!!!! Every time I had a need it was answered! Sometimes before I was even aware that the need would be there!

Even from the very first visit to the Doctors, such as the receptionist telling me God bless you, the lab tech playing Christian music and talking about her church, the Doctors nurse telling me about her mission trip while she was taking my vitals,and so many other instances of faith in the people who were going to take part in my care.
My Sister in law is truly a woman who knows what love is and showed it in everything she did! She took care of me as if I were her child, even on some days that I would not wish on anyone. She made sure I ate healthy, took me to my treatments and Doctor visits, and was there for every need. Her prayers were always uplifting and filled with hope and believe me,she knows what it is like to lose a loved one to cancer, her husband died from cancer a few years ago.
There are so many things like this my friends, probably many that I am not even aware of. Please never doubt that prayer works or that God answers, it does and He does!

I don’t know what He has planned for my future but I am so thankful that He has given me so many blessings and that I am able to say thank you to Him and to all of you! God bless you my friends and I love you all!

To Be At Rest

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. – (Psalm 116:7)

 

Though I know God is good, I am always surprised by His goodness to me, personally. When my soul is stirred up, and rest is far from me, He makes His heart for me tangible, through the kindness of the people He has placed around me. Continually, I am in awe of how He cares for us, and does not want dismay to dominate our hearts and minds. Though the road may be rough at times, He does not ask us to travel alone. He is always with us, and often He sends the faithful to walk beside us – acting as His hands, heart and voice, when we need it the most. My soul finds rest, even in the midst of stormy seasons, because He is always good.

 

Be at rest once more,To Be At Rest

O my weary soul;

for the Lord is good,

when life takes it’s toll.

His presence remains,

no matter the storm;

in His sweet embrace,

we’ll stay safe and warm.

The gift of His grace,

often tangible;

as His heart is shown,

to us by faithful.

His hands and His heart,

His voice and His peace;

extended to us,

grant unrest release.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our soul finds rest in You. Thank You that You are so very good to us, though we deserve it not. Thank You that Your goodness is not dependent on our faithfulness. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who dwells in the hearts of all who believe, and for Your tender mercy that makes Your love for us tangible through the hands, hearts and voices of those whom You send to walk beside us. Forgive us for our unrest, and help us to fix our eyes and hearts on Your goodness and grace that grant us life everlasting. May we live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know who You are, and how much You love. Let those who are looking, find You. May we honor You as we remain at rest within our souls, seeking to serve You with all that we are. Amen.

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

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

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