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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Holy Spirit

The Fragrance of Life

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” – (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

 

When we give our lives to Christ, we are commissioned and sent out as His ambassadors to the world. His Holy Spirit enables us to speak His words, and it is Christ in us, that makes us competent and useful in carrying out our calling. On our own, we are ill-equipped to do all that He is asking. However, with Christ in us, there is nothing that He calls us to, that He will not also see us through. Rather than focus on what we lack, we ought to focus on our Source. He is the One equal to all tasks, so in and through Him, Thy will be done.

 

When we are in Christ,The Fragrance of Life

our scent is secure;

the sweet smell of grace,

He has made quite clear.

As we all go forth,

may we smell of life;

that turns lost to Him,

brings an end to strife.

For the Christ in us,

is who people see;

so let His light shine,

so captives are freed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and kind, and that You use the least of us to touch the lives around us, if only we are willing. Thank You that when we invest in You, Your light is made evident in us. Forgive us for questioning our capacity to be utilized by You, or for getting in the way of what You want to accomplish in and through us. Teach us to trust You completely, and to recognize the possibilities presented by Your presence. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may many come to know the sweet fragrance of salvation in You. Be exalted, O God. Amen.

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

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

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A God of Peace

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – (I Corinthians 14:33)

 

Though this verse is given as instruction in the context for holding worship services in the church, if we are living our lives as an ongoing act of worship before Him, I imagine that the same principles are meant to be applied throughout our daily walk with Him. When we exercise the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given, we are meant to do so in harmony with one another. Chaos should not reign, for God is not given the opportunity to work among us as He intended, when the world we operate in is a constant whirlwind. When we slow down enough to allow His peace to reign, it permeates our perimeters and is passed on to those around us.

 

After one of my busiest weeks of the year so far, this is a timely reminder. Though I have protected my precious early mornings all week, the succeeding hours each day, were swamped. I know there will be weeks where the constant chaos is nearly unavoidable, but as much as I can help it, I need to be intentional to schedule down time – time where life is slowed down and order is restored, and time to intentionally connect and foster growth in those around me, particularly my progeny. They too have gifts that God is growing in them, and need safe and supportive opportunities to operate in utilizing what they have been given. God is full of grace, and He readily provided places of peace, even in the chaotic spaces. During the most important gymnastics meet of our season, a sweet friend showed up with her son, and sat smiling in the stands for quite some time. Throughout the craziness of our final JV meet yesterday, my fantastic team of coaches rallied together and lightened the load that I so often try to carry on my own. His peace provides order, and He showed me yet again, that He is a God of peace.

 

May we go through each day,A God of Peace

in pursuit of the Lord;

as we seek after Him,

His sweet peace He’ll afford.

As we focus on God,

together or alone;

steer clear of disorder,

honor Him on the throne.

In worship, speak only,

if the meaning’s made known;

we’re meant to encourage,

point to the Lord alone.

Let our lives model peace,

even when chaos reigns;

for His grace is with us,

let our whole life proclaim.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You sent Your Son, so that we could have peace and order in Your holy presence. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within the hearts of all who believe, and grants us peace. Forgive us for allowing chaos to reign in our lives and in our hearts, and help us to protect Your place as the God of ALL. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we may surrender ALL unto You. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may Your peace in us, pass on to all those around us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we operate in obedience to all that You ask of us. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing unto You. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all of my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 


Finding Common Ground

“…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – (I Corinthians 9:22b-23)

Paul is telling us a plethora of important principles in but a brief statement. First, we must find common ground with those around us. That does not mean we are to partake or indulge in sinful stuff, but rather we must take the time to invest in the lives of those around us, and love them well, where they are at, if we ever hope to have a voice in sharing what matters from our own hearts. Second, we cannot have a know-it-all attitude. Humility is the only way we will ever be heard. Another necessary element in the process is to assure those around us that they are accepted, right where they are. There are no requirements of “cleaning up” to come to Christ, but rather it is a matter of a sincere heart that is seeking Him. We must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of those around us, and do what we can, practically, to help meet their needs. When there is a relationship of trust established, opportunities to share what Christ has done for us personally, will be presented; we need only be available and willing to share.

(Italics above are paraphrased from NIV footnotes for 9:22-23)

To find common ground,Purple flower

we need open our eyes;

take time to invest,

in other people’s lives.

For if we’re not known,

why would they lend an ear?

No one will listen,

’til another draws near.

We must first listen,

hear each heart and each voice;

notice what’s needed,

sincere service our choice.

When we invest time,

and let love be our choice;

our heart will be heard,

despite chaos and noise.

Let Love lead the way,

be faithful to the Lord;

people will notice,

His light can’t be ignored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and showed us the way to love others well. Thank You that You came near to all, and made everyone who came near feel accepted and loved. Thank You that You were always concerned about the needs of those who came, and touched lives as You transformed hearts. Thank You that You sent Your Spirit, so that we too, have the capacity to love, accept, help, and share in such a way, that people may see You. Forgive us for not investing time, or not being sensitive to those around us. Help make us aware of the needs around us, so that we might be Your hands and heart to those who need Your touch, or word of encouragement. May we learn to find common ground with everyone we meet, and allow You room to move as You see fit. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be exalted in everything we say and do. 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


Bloom Where We’re Planted

Few of us are called to formal full-time ministry positions as an occupation. However, each one of us are all called to serve and be a witness, wherever we are, regardless of our title or position. We can show His love to those around us as we teach children, manage households, check groceries, pick up garbage, sell insurance, prepare and serve meals, enforce the law, volunteer and so on. Our occupation does not limit how God can utilize us for His glory, right where we are, currently.

“Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:17)

“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:20)

“Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.” – (I Corinthians 7:24)

When repetition occurs in scripture, I tend to take notice. Three times Paul said nearly the same thing to the people of Corinth. Though his words were in the specific context of marriage, I believe it applies to every area of our lives. God will use us wherever we have been called, right now, not when we obtain a certain status or position. What He calls us to, He will use us to work through, if we are willing and available to be obedient to whatever He asks of us. There are days when it seems impossible that He could utilize me to reach another, yet it is in those spots of the strongest struggle, that His strength is shown and progress is made known. May we trust Him where we are, and be open to opportunities to touch lives as we love as He loves us.

Each of us called,Bloom Where We're Planted

to serve where we are;

no need to wait,

He’s brought us this far.

Not by our strength,

but rather, by His;

trust Him to lead,

He’ll do what He says.

In all we do,

to God, let it be;

we too were bound,

’til He set us free.

Let His love lead,

and His Spirit guide;

with hearts open,

His peace realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to the spaces where we are, even when they don’t always make sense. Thank You that You are our strength in the struggle and our help and hope. Thank You that You use us for Your glory, regardless of our lot in life, if we are willing to serve You. Forgive us for thinking we have to reach a certain position or knowledge base, or for being fearful of mankind. Teach us to trust You to give us wisdom, words and all that we need, to love and serve, wherever we are called to be. May we touch lives and transform communities through faithfully serving where we are called, and may all glory and honor be given to You. Thank You that You love us where we are, yet continue to grow us more deeply in You. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41


The Mind of Christ

“As the Scriptures say, ‘Who can know what is on the Lord’s mind? Who is able to give Him advice?’ But we have been given Christ’s way of thinking.” – (I Corinthians 2:16 ERV)

Not one of us has the capacity to comprehend our Creator. However, by His Holy Spirit, those who commit their hearts and minds unto Him, are granted insight and understanding into some of God’s plans, thoughts and actions. In a sense, we are granted access to the mind of Christ. As we invest in an intentional intimate relationship with our Redeemer, He reveals more of Himself to us, by His Spirit. Time spent in His word, in worship, and in prayer, provide opportunities for us to grow closer to our Creator, as we learn more of who He is, and all that He has done for us.

Who can come to know,The Mind of Christ

the mind of the Lord?

Those who will invest,

choose time to afford.

Time spent with Jesus,

will not return void;

understanding comes,

when our heart’s employed.

Lean not on our strength,

but fully on Christ;

to know how He gave,

His great sacrifice.

Let our hearts receive,

all He has to give;

so by His Spirit,

we shall truly live.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and reveal to us, more and more of Yourself. Thank You that by Your Spirit, we may come to know Your thoughts, which are far higher and greater than our own. Forgive us for not investing our whole hearts, or for turning a deaf ear to what You are speaking to our hearts. Help us to give You our whole heart, and may our ears and hearts be open to hear and obey all that You are asking. Let us live in worshipful obedience, so that our love for You and for others is evident. May many be drawn unto You as a result. Let Your light be bright in us. Be magnified through all that we say and do. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23


Promises to Pass On

Mark 10:17-31, reveals the story of an exchange between a rich young man and Jesus. The young man, who had amassed great wealth, came to Jesus and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, despite how the man had appropriately addressed Him, saw past the list of laws he claimed to have upheld, and recognized the root of pride held in his heart. “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” – (Mark 10:21a) In His great love, Jesus told him truthfully, what it would cost for the young man to follow Him.

Jesus does not ask all of us to sell everything we own, nor are we often expected to give it all away. However, He does ask that we place Him above all else. He saw that wealth was in the highest position of honor in the young man’s life, so He directly exposed its root. Our eternal security is not something that we can earn, but rather a gift that is freely given, if only we are willing to believe and receive in faith. As we trust Him, He directs our heart in the ways we are meant to go, and keeps our path straight. When we are submitted to our Savior, we will hear what He is asking of us along the way. We are not promised wealth, nor security, nor a cushy bank account; but we are promised hope, faith, love, and a peace that surpasses all understanding, as we have His Spirit with us to navigate this adventure of a life.

‘Tis not to be earned,Promises to Pass On

this glorious gift;

our treasure to hold,

all praises we lift.

Forever our hope,

is founded in Christ;

not temporal things,

though they can be nice.

For Jesus alone,

is our only Source;

redeeming Savior,

our holy true course.

As we fix our eyes,

our hearts and our minds;

true treasure is found,

the eternal kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You look upon us with love, regardless of where we are in the process of moving closer to You. Thank You that You lovingly show us the way we are meant to go, and that You redirect us when we get off course. Forgive us for not fully submitting all that we are and all that we have, unto You. Teach us to trust You completely, as You alone are our true Source. May we recognize all that we have and all that we are is a gift from You that is meant to be shared. Help us to hear You well, so that we love as You call us to love. May many come to know the eternal hope that is held in You alone, as we live in the love You have so generously poured upon us. Be glorified, our great and mighty God. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13


Show Me Your Ways

“Show me Your ways, O Lord,

teach me Your paths;

guide me in Your truth and teach me,

for You are God my Savior,

and my hope is in You all day long.”

- (Psalm 25:4-5)

These words, penned by David as part of a prayer for defense, guidance and pardon, demonstrate the complete necessity to turn to God for guidance in all things and at all times. Despite some desperately shaky seasons in David’s life, he knew that the solution to each challenge, was to call on the Lord, and trust in Him to provide wisdom and guidance in the way in which he was meant to go.

When we ask the Lord to show us His ways, what are we meant to do? He has provided a primary guidance system for us through His Word, and when we spend time reading it and asking Him to show us new things, He answers – unlocking new understanding and insight that we did not have before. The more we know Him, the more deeply we trust and place our hope in Him. As we become aware of the magnitude of His majesty, we cannot help but turn to trust. Hope begins to hold fast to our hearts as we hear His beat for us, individually.

Show me Your ways,Show Me Your Ways

as I seek to know;

all of my days,

O Lord, help me grow.

Let wisdom come,

understanding too;

from rising sun,

’til the day is through.

May my heart seek,

earnestly each day;

Strength when we’re weak,

our purpose to pray.

You are my hope,

God, Savior of all;

courage to cope,

as You hear each call.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are willing to show us Your ways, and teach us Your truth. Thank You that You have provided Your Word and the way to be in constant communion with You, through the gift of Your Holy Spirit, granted through the mercy and grace given as Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf. Thank You that our hope is held in You alone, and that You will guide us and teach us if we choose to trust You. Forgive us for our lack of faith, or for our failure to fully invest ourselves into our relationship with You. Thank You that You withheld nothing from us. Please help us to do the same. Teach us to trust You in such a way, that we are willing to allow You into every area of our lives, granting You the reigns. May we walk in truth, and love as we are loved by You. May many come to know the heavenly hope that is found in You alone, as we allow You to lead. Let our lives speak volumes of Your mercy and grace, to those who do not yet know You. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.

Who, O God, is like You?

- Psalm 71:19


Have Mercy Upon Me, O Lord

Psalm 6:1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger,
neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak:
O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul is also sore vexed:
but thou, O Lord, how long?
4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul:
oh save me for thy mercies ‘sake.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee:
in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning;
all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief;
it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity;
for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord hath heard my supplication;
the Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed:
let them return and be ashamed suddenly. (KJV)


Living Testimonies

Exciting news has always found way to spread quickly. In Ephesus, during the time of Paul’s ministry, there was no exception. “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” – (Acts 19:11-12) There were some Jews who were jealous of both the power and influence that God had given Paul, and they were going around driving out spirits, using both the name of Jesus, and Paul’s name, in attempt to make something happen. These men soon learned that it required more than the use of His Name to overcome evil spirits, as the fellas were beaten within an inch of their lives, and ran away.

As word of this occurrence spread, both Jews and Greeks gained a proper perspective of the power of the Lord, and held His Name in high esteem. Many who had come to believe, came and confessed their sins and began to rid their homes and lives of things that were in direct violation with the ways of the Lord. The depth of their commitment to Christ was further solidified, through the hearing of His awesome power.

What sort of news do we spread? How do we impact people with the power of His Name? Are we making others aware of His awesome power and great love, or are we “talking heads” without the depth of commitment? Paul’s ministry was powerful only because his priority was to love God, and to love people. His love compelled him to share of all that the Lord had done in him, and allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to move through him. God moves mightily through us when we are willing vessels.

May Your love spread,Living Testimonies

let hearts be ablaze;

as people come,

to follow Your ways.

Let willing hearts,

be Your hands and voice;

so all might know,

of redemption choice.

Yes and amen,

shall be our reply;

let others know,

You alone supply.

Be lifted high,

through our word and deed;

may we love well,

as You meet each need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the news of You has traveled far and wide, providing opportunity for us to come to know You as our Savior and King. Thank You that You love us so much, that You have granted examples of the faithful to show the way, and have provided miracles, to move the hearts of those who need to see to believe. Forgive us for the times that our words and actions have not aligned, or our hearts have not held fast to the truth in trust. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to be living examples for those around us. May we be people who are not just hearers of the word, but rather doers of the word. May our very lives be living testimonies of Your faithfulness and truth to all whom are within our sphere of influence. May many come to know You as their Savior, as we faithfully love and serve You and one another. May You be honored in all things. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

- Acts 2:28


Calling for Counsel

Acts 15, for me, has two terrific take-aways. The first, is when there is a question or dispute about what is right according to God’s will, seek the word and the wisdom of godly counsel. Second, if there is a point of disagreement that seemingly has no resolution that is not foundational in our faith – agree to disagree and move on.

It was brought to the attention of Paul and Barnabas, that some men from Judea and Antioch were teaching in such a way, that they were attempting to place the yoke of the old law upon the necks of Gentile believers, rather than recognizing that the inner working of the Holy Spirit in their lives was more than enough. “This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.” – (Acts 15:2) After meeting with the counsel of elders, who examined the scriptures, they recognized that there was no longer a need to place the former regulations required for Jewish believers upon the neck of the Gentiles who had come to Christ. Instead, they were given a few simple instructions to follow that were to protect their physical and spiritual well-being.

Paul and Barnabas were great friends and brothers in Christ. They had traveled many miles together, and shared miraculous moments that the Lord had provided both through them and in them along the way. After they had met with the counsel, the two men disagreed about whom they should bring along on the next leg of their journey. Ultimately, they parted company and each took a new traveling companion, thus doubling the ministry teams that were sent out. Both men had very effective ministries, that were eventually reunited and ultimately combined (as the point of contention had been over bringing Mark along, and Mark later became a vital part of Paul’s ministry).

When things are unclear,Calling for Cousel

seek that which is true;

first God, then the word,

then wise counsel, too.

If disputes arise,

try first to resolve;

let not opinions,

true friendships dissolve.

For there will be times,

when it will be best;

let disagreements,

lay down, put to rest.

If we truly love,

then we’ll be okay;

if not eye to eye,

in every way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace. Thank You that You provide us with Your wisdom through Your Holy Spirit and through Your word. Thank You too, that there are godly men and women around us whom we can seek together, when questions arise, or answers seem unclear. Thank You that You create us for community so that we may learn and grow with one another. Thank You too, that as humans, it is okay to disagree on some things. Forgive us for attempting to make snap decisions without seeking You and further counsel when necessary, and also for not being okay with others having opinions that differ form our own. Please grant us the wisdom to know to always seek You first, and to know when we are meant to seek further counsel. Help us to know when it is okay to agree to disagree. May we live in the light of Your love, so that those who know You not, might come to see the goodness and grace that is available through a relationship with You. May many choose to live for You. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23


Prayer Request for my Granddaughter Mackenzie

Mackenzie is in the ER and they think she may have appendicitis, please keep her in your prayers! She is 10 years old! Thank you and God bless! I will update when I can!

Update: It is not appendicitis!!! She is on her way home! They are not sure what is wrong so please continue to pray, but thank you so much, God is still on the throne!!!


An Attitude Adjustment

Though the story of Peter being called to go and share the good news in the home of Cornelius has an overarching theme that the gospel is for everyone, the thing that struck me as I read the account in Acts this morning, was Peter’s attitude adjustment, in such a short time.

Back in Matthew 18:1-6, as the disciples were traveling with Jesus, and learning and growing beside Him as He led them, they were arguing one day, about which among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Somehow, in all of the attention, their priorities had become askew. Jesus quickly set the record straight, “And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -(Matthew 18:3-4)

Fast forward past Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. While in Joppa, Peter had been assured in a vision that he was to go to the home of Cornelius, to share the good news of Christ. He willingly went with the men Cornelius had sent, when they had arrived to lead him. “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.” – (Acts 10:25-26) Peter was quick to humble himself and point Cornelius to Christ. Despite the potential draw of being adored by such a powerful person, Peter prioritized the presentation of truth, and maintained his position of humility as a servant of Christ. Because of Peter’s willing submission to God’s call, Cornelius and his entire household came to Christ. Being a man of high position, I imagine Cornelius had a tremendous impact on many people.

Be humble and kind,An Attitude Adjustment

allow the Lord lead;

be willing to give,

as we see a need.

Trust Him to show us,

what we’re meant to do;

listen to His voice,

faithfully pursue.

Seek not position,

of honor, nor fame;

and if it’s given,

point straight to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and the reason we are able to do anything good in this life. Thank You for such great examples of change, as You show us how to be more like Christ in what we say and do. Forgive us for not walking in humility, or for not giving credit where credit is due. Thank You that all good that we do, is done in Your strength, and that the life You are calling us to, is only possible in You. May we be invested in You, so that Your light shines through us. May many come to see Your light through our love, and ultimately, come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted, our great and mighty God. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; … my hope is in You all day long.

- Psalm 25:4-5


The Desert Road

As I continue in my study of Acts, I so appreciate the sensitivity of Philip to the Lord’s leading. He was told to “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” – (Acts 8:26) Despite Philip’s successful ministry in Samaria, he was quick to obey what was asked of him, without even asking why. He simply got up and went.

Philip’s obedience led to an extraordinary encounter with an Ethiopian eunuch. (an important official in charge of the queen of Ethiopia’s treasury) This man had traveled to Jerusalem to worship, yet had not yet heard the great news of Jesus. While Philip was walking on his way, he came upon the man as he was reading Isaiah, seated in his chariot, on the side of the road. Again, Philip followed the Father’s prompting, and went to the man, as he had been told, and ultimately explained how the passage the Ethiopian was reading was speaking of Jesus. Philip was able to tell him of all that Jesus had done, and all the good new that was available to him. The eunuch responded right away, and wanted to be baptized. Right after his baptism, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing, and was now equipped to share his experience with others.

In my own experience, I know this to be true. As a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Social Studies, U.S. History, Art, and Language Arts. I had been stuck in a cycle of teach Mathematics for several years, and was burned out. Finally, I had returned to Language Arts and U.S. History, and was thrilled. At year’s end, my principal asked me if I would be willing to teach Reading Intervention the following year. My first question was, “How am I qualified to teach that?” His reply encouraged me to go ahead and wander into the desert, despite my inexperience with teaching struggling readers. (As did the still small voice in my spirit) One step of willing obedience, has led to a position that I would not trade for anything. I am now in my third year as the Reading Intervention teacher, and I LOVE teaching struggling readers. I get to see the “a-ha’s” and the successes, regularly. I get to know and love kids, that typically are difficult to know and love, in the tradition classroom setting.

Often, what we are called to do, does not make sense. Calls can seem to be a demotion of sorts, or a send-off into the desert. However, each time the call is answered and obeyed, the result is nothing short of remarkable. At times, it takes a great deal of walking before we seem to hear the next step, yet the obedient walking is somehow always a preparation for the next leg of the journey. May we be sensitive to His voice, and quick to make the choice to do as we are asked.

Ready to go,The Desert Road

leaving all behind;

willing to trust,

know we’re on His mind.

Steps to obey,

by faith we shall walk;

let momentum,

be our faith-filled talk.

See not the sand,

but trust in Him more;

He paves the path,

and leads us to shore.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You call us to partner with You on this journey. Thank You that You use us and work in us and through us, when we are willing to answer Your call. Thank You that You are faithful, always. Forgive us for questioning Your call, or for fearing that we are not qualified. Thank You that none of us are ever qualified on our own, but rather You in us, is what qualifies us to be obedient and do as You ask. May we be tender to trust You more, and may many come to hear Your call, as we live and love as You call us to. May lives be changed and hearts be moved. All glory and honor to You, Lord. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11


But where shall wisdom be found

Job 28:1Surely there is a vein for the silver,
and a place for gold where they fine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and brass is molten out of the stone.
3 He setteth an end to darkness,
and searcheth out all perfection:
the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant;
even the waters forgotten of the foot:
they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread:
and under it is turned up as it were fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires:
and it hath dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth,
and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:
8 The lion’s whelps have not trodden it,
nor the fierce lion passed by it.
9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock;
he overturneth the mountains by the roots.
10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks;
and his eye seeth every precious thing.
11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing;
and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found?
and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof;
neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth saith, It is not in me:
and the sea saith, It is not with me.
15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it:
and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom?
and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say,
We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof,
and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make weight for the winds; and he weighteth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.


Obeying God First

In this increasingly “go with what feels good” culture, it is essential to not only be aware of what God deems right and wrong, but to also be in a close relationship with Him, so that we are able to hear His still small voice as He speaks to us, individually, about what is and is not permissible for us. There are some things that the Bible clearly defines as right and wrong. Yet there are other areas, that are a bit muddy. These are the places where it is paramount to pursue Christ for answers, rather than just going with whatever society says is good.

Acts five conveys the story of Peter and the apostles being arrested and jailed, simply for speaking the truth of what they had witnessed through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. The Sadducees jealousy got the best of them, and they threw the men of faith in prison. When brought to trial, the high priest asked them why they had gone against what they had been told (to stop teaching in His Name). “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!” – (Acts 5:29)

Though few of us face the fear of prison for sharing our faith, we do deal with social pressures to stay silent, and to go along with societal norms that directly disregard what God has spoken. There is a delicate balance in loving others, yet speaking the truth in love. We cannot go around shouting to people that they “must turn or burn“. Rather, our charge is to live in such a way, that people are drawn unto us, and begin to ask questions as to why we are the way we are. God will provide opportunities for truth to be told in His time. He is tender and kind, and longs to draw people unto Himself. May we be living examples of His love, and may we choose to obey God first, always.

In tune with You, Lord,Obeying God First

we shall hear the way;

to do as You ask,

to honor, obey.

We must truly seek,

to hear still small voice;

then choose to follow,

obedient choice.

Let not fear of men,

keep us from what’s true;

our final answer,

will be unto You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have access to mighty examples of those who have faithfully followed You. Thank You too, that You do not expect us to do this on our own, but You provide us all that we need, through Your word, and Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for folding to social pressures, or for staying silent when we were meant to speak. Teach us to hear Your voice clearly, so that we may be Your voice to those who know You not. Let our lives lived in love, speak volumes to all who are around us. May many come to know Your goodness and Your grace, as they enter into a personal place of seeking Your face. Be magnified, our great and mighty King. Amen.

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

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3


Doest thou well to be angry?

Jonah Chapter 4
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish:for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (KJV)


Nineveh needs the warning

Jonah Chapter 3
1 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days ‘journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing:let them not feed, nor drink water:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God:yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (KJV)


In the belly of the fish

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, 2 And said,
I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me;
out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas;
and the floods compassed me about:
all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight;
yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:
the depth closed me round about,
the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains;
the earth with her bars was about me for ever:
yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord:
and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay that that I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.
10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (KJV)


You can run but you can’t hide

Jonah
Chapter 1
1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish:so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you:for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not:for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood:for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea:and the sea ceased from her raging. (KJV)


Word for the Day

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


Supplied by the Spirit

Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has an assignment. God has created and gifted each one of us with something special in mind. However, we are not born with an instruction manual, nor do we receive a special guide book at our moment of redemption, thus we find ourselves in a space of needing to seek Him to find out what He has planned.

We do have an instruction manual of sorts for our lives, as the Bible shows us how to live in love and trust in Him, among other essential things found in a life formed by faith. Also, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are able to call out to God in prayer, any time, and ask whatever we need. The critical element in helping discover our given assignments, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8) When we invite Christ into our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit as well. Just as the early disciples received God’s power to do as He had called them to do, we too, can receive the very same power to do all that He is asking of us.

Three things that the disciples did, that we must still do today, are: to join together with fellow believers, pray together in faith, and wait. It seems that the first two are the easier of the three to manage. In this instant gratification society, waiting is a tough sell. Patience and perseverance are characteristics that seem a rarity, rather than the norm. The standards that were established all those years ago, still apply today. All things that are worthwhile take work and waiting. We are told that the same is true with our walk with Him. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

The disciples were told to go and wait after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. We also, are meant to wait on Him, when we need to know what comes next. As we are faithful to wait, the blessings discovered by spending time intentionally in His presence, are well worth the investment. He is faithful to answer as we ask, we simply must press in and persevere, trusting that He hears our every prayer.

Call on the Lord,Supplied by the Spirit

then faithfully wait;

for His answers,

not early nor late.

Patiently pray,

for the Lord is good;

He knows our need,

we are understood.

Allow access,

to both heart and mind;

trust Him to touch,

He is gentle, kind.

God will equip,

us to do each task;

know what He says,

and do as He asks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, and that the very same power You poured out on the early disciples, is available, ready and dwelling in the hearts of those who believe. Thank You that You equip us for all that You ask, and that You strengthen and encourage us as we listen and wait on You. Forgive us for forgetting to slow down, or for growing impatient in the waiting. Teach us to trust in the wait, and help us to persevere, so that we may hold the holy hope You have for us. May we live in love as we walk in obedience to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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


Thought for the Day

1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: for now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”


Commit Thou to Faithful Men

img_25332Timothty 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (KJV)


It Shall Come to Pass

jesus-with-crown-of-thorns2Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.


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