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.
to my God and King?
For He has made all,
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.
“Hope is a confident expectation of a favorable outcome.” – (Pastor Jon MacIntosh) In Christ, whom is the Source of ALL hope, we find confidence in knowing that the ultimate outcome is good. We know Who wins in the end, and we have the blessed assurance that our eternity will be spent in His presence.
It is easy to blur the lines between wishing and hoping. A wish is really just a want, that is not backed by confident expectation in Christ. Our hopes, dreams and desires need to align with His, and hope in Him, ought to be “the lens through which we view our future”. (PJM) When we see where He is calling us to go, we move in confident expectation that He will meet us every step of the way, and provide all that is needed to accomplish what He has asked.
In the throes of life’s storms, though I often cannot see the security of the shore, I have hope in Christ, as I know that He is my anchor, steadfast and secure. He will not allow me to get lost, nor to drift beyond a place where He can safely bring me back to shore. My hope in Him is not deterred by wind and waves, as my heart is tethered to His.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – (Isaiah 40:31)
let us hope in the Lord.
He is mighty to save,
our strength in one accord.
Expect that He will use,
everything for our good;
even our great struggles,
make His grace understood.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Hope. Thank You that in You, we need not fear, regardless of what surrounds us. Thank You that You are the anchor that keeps us secure through all of life’s storms, and that You are our peace when chaos seems to reign. Forgive us for allowing the weight of the world to hinder our hope, and help us to hold our every hope in You – not in what surrounds us. Thank You that our ultimate outcome will be far beyond favorable, as eternity with You, is more than our hearts can currently hold. Help us to live in love, looking through Your lens of hope, so that others too, may see that true hope is found in You. May many come to find hope in You during this blessed season of remembering. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.
For more verses on HOPE(per sermon notes from yesterday):
Romans 8:24(hope saves
I John 3:3(hope purifies)
Hebrews 6:13(hope anchors us)
I Thessalonians 1:3(hope inspires)
Psalm 62:5(hope comes from God)
2 Thessalonians 2:16(hope is good)
Titus 2:13(hope is blessed)
Hebrews 7:19(hope is better)
I Peter 1:3(hope is living)
I Corinthians 13:13(hope is enduring)
Ephesians 1:8(we are called to hope)
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” – (Matthew 21:22)
Prayer is the power of God in action; it is not some sort of magical wish upon a star phenomenon. However, in order for prayer to be effective, our heart must be aligned with our Heavenly Father’s. Our requests must be in synch with the principles of God’s kingdom. The more in tune we are with God and His will, the more likely we are to make good and pleasing requests. God does not answer prayers that would hurt people, nor does He do things to go against His own nature or will.
What about the times that prayers seem to go unanswered, or do not turn out as we had hoped? I anticipate this very loaded question may be meandering through your mind, as most of us have heartfelt prayers that we have earnestly prayed, that seemed to go unanswered. How do we reconcile the disappointment, when we trusted and believed that He would answer? What I have learned, and am still learning, is that believing and trusting Him and His character first, must be my priority. His answers do not always come in the package I anticipate. Though I ask for one thing, He may have other plans for my life or the life of another. God, being the Divine Creator of ALL, knows best, and I have to trust that His ways and His plans are far better than my own, even if it means temporary heartache here. I know that He is good. I know that He loves me with an everlasting love. I know that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, and that He has a hope and a future for me. At times, that has to be enough.
trust God and believe;
for it is through Christ,
we now may receive.
All hope comes from Him,
our soon Coming King;
Lover of our souls,
our praises we bring.
May we come to know,
Your faithfulness, God;
as we pray to You,
and on Thy path, trod.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to hear our prayers. Thank You that You answer that which we ask, as we earnestly seek You and Your will. Thank You that though answers do not always appear in the form that we might hope for, You are forever faithful, and always have our best in mind. Thank You that those who do not receive their healing on earth, are whole and in perfect health in Your presence now. Thank You that Your love for each of Your created, is far greater than our own, and You know what is best, even when we want other than what has been done. Forgive us for our frustrations and doubts, and help us to place our heart in Your hands, trusting You with all things, knowing that You hear us, and love us. May we live each day as love and light to all those around us, and may many come to know the saving grace that is only found in You. Thank You that You are so very good. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
the foundation stone;
for it’s best to build,
a heart that’s His home.
makes our hope secure;
when the waters rise,
and the storms come near.
When we live in Christ,
and sorrows arrive;
all hope is assured,
He hears our heart’s cry.
As the waters rage,
and torrents fall down;
we’ll not be shaken,
secure is our crown.
Hear well all His words,
and choose then to act;
even when attacked.
For in Him alone,
our future secure;
He will hold us up,
and remain right here.
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” – (Luke 6:47-48)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word. Thank You that as we invest time to study Your truth, You teach and reveal to us, more of who You are. Thank You that You are good and kind, loving and just; and when we come to You with a repentant heart, You forgive our every failure. Forgive us for our fears and for the times we give in to temptations and fail to completely trust in You. Help us to hear Your heart for us, and teach us to respond accordingly. Let Your light and love radiate through us, so that we may be Your hands, heart and voice, to a weary world. May many lay hold of the hope that is found forever in You. Lead us in love, we pray. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
both young and old;
may each be well,
as day unfolds.
When bags are packed,
and lunches made;
with new clothes donned,
Lord, go before,
each one of us;
whether by car,
by foot or bus.
Let hope be held,
in every heart;
as we make way,
to year’s new start.
May every child,
find safety there;
may peace be found,
through smiles we wear.
Let each student,
and know our care,
as they walk in.
God give us strength,
use us to be;
a voice of hope,
with kids we lead.
For all who come,
may we provide,
a place to grow.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for new beginnings. Thank You for the privilege of partnering with You in preparing young lives to be tomorrow’s leaders. Thank You that as we begin a new school year, You have already set in place, which people are to care for every child who enters our schools. Strengthen and equip us to reach and care for each one, and may they leave a bit better at each day’s end. Forgive us for our oversights, and please stand in the gaps where we fall short. Protect every student and staff member that enter our schools, and help each to become the very best version of ourselves. May we honor You with all we do, and may many find way to faith in You. Amen.
Anne update: Yesterday was a quieter day for Anne, but I imagine a bit of rest was good. Today she has an important appointment. Please pray not only for her healing, but for wisdom and words for the medical community entrusted with her care. Please grant them Your words to speak. Hold her heart and her hand as she goes, and be her perfect peace. Blessings to you, my prayerful friends!
With countless thanks, Shannon
While our government and the main stream media would rather look the other way and even go so far as to deny that the killing and persecution of Christians is happening, the truth is still getting out. It is amazing to me that in this country that was established on the law of Moses, we have a leader who claims to be a Christian who supports a religion whose tenets promote the killing of those same Christians. But then again that should not surprise me really. While our President makes the claim to Christianity, there has been little evidence to support his claim. And yes, I am judging his actions, as follower of Christ it is our responsibility to point out when leaders who claim the mantle of Christianity, lead their followers down the path of unrighteousness. And that is exactly what Mr. Obama is doing. While Mr. Obama could not be in place without God’s approval, that does not mean that he himself is favored by God. God uses ungodly men as well as godly, you only have to look at your Bible to find many instances of this. Look at Nebuchadnezzar for one.
The culling of the Christians in the Middle East is a forerunner to the destruction of the Jews and the attempted destruction of Israel. It is naive to think that if the killing of the Christians is successful in the Middle East it will stop there. Logic alone will tell us that the efforts will be increased in Europe. The violence is spreading rapidly there as well and Islamic organizations already have established strongholds in South and Central America, as well as in Canada, where it is becoming more and more illegal to even speak against them. And for those who would rather hide their heads in the sand and say that it could never happen here in the United States, let me ask you a question, Why is our Attorney General so quick to sue cities, states, school districts and etc. to make allowances for the practice of Islam, including prayer rooms in schools, and at the same time refusing to allow the same rights to Christians? Why are Christian principles being disallowed in the military and our service men and women being told that if they state their beliefs, they can be tried for treason? These are just a few instances of change in this country since this administration has been in power. Is it really too extreme to see a time in the near future where Christians suffer the same level of persecution that they are suffering in the Middle East?
We know that for prophecy to be fulfilled, this time must come and if we are true followers of Christ, we must be sure that we are doing as we are instructed. As Jesus himself told us, as wise man watches the sky to see the signs. So please my friends, do not take your eyes off of heaven. Be prepared, and follow instructions. They are all there written in the Book! Please do not hide your eyes and deny the reality of what is happening in the world.
The pictures below and the article that they are from are just a small example of what is happening, please take time to read the story and ask why it is not being covered. Also ask why our President is so insistent that the very people causing this destruction, be released from prison.
Missouri Education Watchdog: MAJOR ALERT for Private School and Homeschool Parents. The Plan: Your Child WILL be Taught Common Core.
This is a very important issue, not just for those that have children in public schools, this report from MEW shows how it affects children that are being home schooled but it also affects any child being taught at a Christian school as well. Please link to this, tweet it, put it on facebook, share it any way you can! God bless!
Do you think you have freedom to educate your child as you, the parent, sees fit? Do you look to the State for educational development/delivery for your child or have you selected private/homeschool options? If you have chosen private/homeschool options, it may not be much different than the public school education offered by the state of Alabama. The state not only controls the public development/direction of education, it will also control both private/homeschool educational development/direction.
Watch this Alabama Department of Education Private School Licensure Meeting athttp://www.ustream.tv/recorded/35665549.
A reader contacted me and wrote:
This video of the Alabama State Department Education meeting with private, church, and home school representatives will make your blood boil. They are creating a new department, charging new fees, implementing unprecedented oversight and reporting requirements, and monitoring the list of those schools that do not register with the State Department of Education. If you do not register, your students are unable to attend a postsecondary institution (2-or 4-year). Home schoolers MUST report attendance, grades, coursework, etc. to the local school superintendent on a regular basis. I could go on and on. Please take the time to watch it! Please share this with everyone in our group and others…
Please read the rest of this on MEW’s site:Missouri Education Watchdog: MAJOR ALERT for Private School and Homeschool Parents. The Plan: Your Child WILL be Taught Common Core..
God grants us each,
some spiritual gifts;
U.S. border officials want 20,000 kg of food itemized, physically inspected before entering
“Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”
In the wake of four unexpected and spectacular astronomical events this week, comes another. Earlier this week, an asteroid flew by earth at a mere distance of 17,000 miles, very close. It was the closest fly-by in recorded history of a non-satellite nature. In addition, on the same day no less, three major meteor sightings occurred. The one that happened in the Russian Urals was especially interesting, being the largest meteor to crash to earth in 2q00 years, injuring 1,200 people and causing absolute panic. The two other meteor sightings occurred in San Francisco and Cuba.
It should be noted that there is no ongoing meteor shower the earth is passing through. These space rocks just appear and suddenly they are crashing down on our heads. Read the rest at The End Time: Another meteor-fireball, this one in South Florida.
by Steven Ertelt
Senator Marco Rubio is introducing a a major pro-life bill, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, today that would stop secret abortions on teenagers.
The bill would require an abortion practitioner to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor who resides in a different state. It would also make it a crime for a non-parent to transport a minor across state lines to evade a parental notification law. Read the rest: New Congressional Bill Would Stop Secret Abortions on Teenagers | LifeNews.com.
If this story by Eric Rush is true and I have no reason to doubt it, it is further evidence of the pretense of Christian belief by both Barack Obama and those who are in his administration. China has one of the worst record of persecuting Christians and of forcing abortions, in the world. But this is not the only consideration that this story enlightens us upon. It is further evidence of the lawlessness of Barack Obama and the total lack of any desire to advance the ability of the American people to recover from the mess that we are in. We can not blame this all on him, but the policies and programs that he promotes lead to further debt, more lawlessness, violence, destruction and they further promote a culture of death. It is a policy of divide and conquer and not a desire to lead.
I will not say that we are without hope as Christians because it is not true, our hope does not rest upon anything in this mortal world but only in our Lord Jesus Christ, our home is in heaven as is our treasure. I merely point this out as a notice that the prophecies that have been given us, seem to be in the process of being fulfilled and as instructed by Jesus Himself, it is our job to watch, listen, warn and be aware so that we are not caught unaware. God uses men to accomplish His goals and if this is the time that Jesus will return, God can use Barack Obama to accomplish this. We need to use our voices and warn high and low of the coming difficulties so that followers will not be caught unaware. We know that in the end time that we will face increased persecution and it is happening throughout the whole of the world to varying degrees. We have lost God’s grace by our embrace of abortion, homosexuality and all the other sins of the world, to expect that we would not face persecution would be to fly in the very face of the word of the Lord. Please click on the link above and read the story and please share as well. Thank you and God bless!
We have seen what is happening in many European countries where faith is being pushed into the backroom and the faithful are being silenced with mockery or actual prosecution for hate crimes. This is not how our country was founded, it was founded upon the tenets of religious liberty. And yet those that protest the so called discrimination, are the very ones that are doing the discrimination. Those who protest hate speech are the ones spewing some of the most vile speech that there is. If we do not stand and speak the word of God loudly and clearly, we are the losers. What others think is not our responsibility. Not stepping on the feelings of those that would play the victim is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to follow what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ laid out for us and if we shy away from doing it here on earth, we have nothing to stand upon when Jesus returns. Our home is not here, our treasure is not here, our lives here are simply to do His will and spread His word. God bless!
Good News Translation (GNT)
The Last Days
3 Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. 2 People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; 3 they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; 4 they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; 5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people. 6 Some of them go into people’s houses and gain control over weak women who are burdened by the guilt of their sins and driven by all kinds of desires, 7 women who are always trying to learn but who can never come to know the truth. 8 As Jannes and Jambres were opposed to Moses, so also these people are opposed to the truth—people whose minds do not function and who are failures in the faith.9 But they will not get very far, because everyone will see how stupid they are. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres.
10 But you have followed my teaching, my conduct, and my purpose in life; you have observed my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, 11 my persecutions, and my sufferings. You know all that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, the terrible persecutions I endured! But the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 Everyone who wants to live a godly life in union with Christ Jesus will be persecuted; 13 and evil persons and impostors will keep on going from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 14 But as for you, continue in the truths that you were taught and firmly believe. You know who your teachers were, 15 and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful[a]for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living,17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful; or Every scripture inspired by God is also useful.
Our children are now and have for years been taught by many in the public school system that God is simply an archaic need for an ignorant people. That if you are intelligent that you are responsible for your own actions and you don’t need any God to be subservient to. The reality is that without God, you are responsible for nothing.
Without God, there is no real consequence for any action that you do. Without God, if you choose to steal, maim, murder or any other deviant activity, your only consequences occur when your actions are deemed illegal by society and you are unfortunate enough to be caught. And still if you are clever or have enough money to hire a good attorney, the likelihood of your actually being held responsible is nil. And if you really do not care whether you live or die, there is no stopping you!
This is the society that we are in presently. An alternate reality where all there is is now, no judgment in the future, and if you are tired of living, no cost for anything after you are dead and gone. What person being raised in this society would not question as to whether there is any worth or value in any thing. Why would they consider the consequences of their actions when they have been told over and over by so many that their is no God and therefore no ultimate judgment upon them.
To them, the only value they have in life is what they take. The only worth they have is what they make of themselves. It is more important for people to know your name and read your facebook page than it is for you to do something that the future may appreciate and enjoy, something that God would consider worthy. The people they respect are those that get the most twitter followers, or the most votes for the idol of the week. There is no future for them because they have nothing to really look forward to.
They have not been taught the value of a job, the need to respect those who are older than them, the history of the country they live in, or even themselves sometimes. They have often spent their lives in depravity, being degraded by their own parents or teachers. Treated as hostiles in their schools with teachers that spend more time teaching them propaganda than they do in actual teaching of math, reading, history or any other subject that we at one time considered valuable. Schools where the politics is more important that the teaching.
They see no value in themselves and that makes it impossible to see value in anything else. They see noting in the future by continued emptiness unless they can make a name for themselves. This is the reality that our children have growing up without God in their lives. This is the sad state of affairs that we have allowed to happen.
Why did we allow this? Because we were lazy and didn’t want to rock the boat!!!! We put our trust in people that did not have our children’s interests at heart and that certainly had no desire to see God continue in their lives. We were negligent and didn’t make sure that our children were learning the lessons that they needed for life. Instead of teaching our children the essentials, in many cases those very people that we entrusted them with, betrayed that trust. They taught our children that they didn’t need God. That He was fiction and old, not something that was needed in anyone intelligent’s life. Therefore they took the natural trust of children and abused it, making them think that their own parents were nothing more than ignorant sheep, all the while they were teaching them to not ask questions of them, and not to listen to us.
The reality of life without God is that there is nothing but now!!! No real future, only what you can grab in the moment. There are no consequences for your actions because there is no judgment other than that of your peers. And if you have no consideration for your peers, no real stop on your actions. Life in the reality without God is a life of no worth, no future, no hope, and truly no love. It is a very sad place to be and if we don’t make a much bigger effort to teach our children of God, a place that will leave them on a fast path to eternal judgment!
I think that this is a fascinating story on many levels. We constantly find those who argue with us that “Even God has to obey the laws.” I find that odd because they can’t seem to get their heads around the fact that the One who created the laws surely can fathom what they are and how they work. In their arrogance they assume that man has discovered everything that there is to discover and therefore because they see limits, think that He is limited. The creator of time, the universe and everything in it, is so far beyond what we can perceive that it is foolish to try to bind Him into something that will fit into some small box so that we can bundle Him up and show Him off as some kind of tool that faulty men can use to their own advantage. There are so many things that we are just beginning to understand and the great I am has no need for the limits of time that we see around us.