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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “jesus

Seek to Sow

He replied, “… I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – (Matthew 17:20-21)

 

Jesus was responding to the disciples’ questions as to why they could not heal a boy who had been suffering from seizures caused by demon possession. They were not being condemned for their lack of faith, but rather He was showing them how essential faith would be in all that they would be called to do in the future. The seeming mountains that stand in our way cannot be moved in our own strength. However, in Christ, the mountains are mere molehills, and He can accomplish all that He calls us to do, if we choose to allow Him room to be Lord. May we seek the Lord with all that we are, and allow Him access to our whole heart so that our small seeds of faith may flourish and grow great in Him.

 

Let not our eyes,Seek to Sow

fix on our trial;

look to the Lord,

all hope to beguile.

The smallest seed,

can grow, multiply;

tended by Christ,

bear fruit, fortify.

All things can be,

established in Christ;

mountains made plain,

needs become sufficed.

He is enough,

for our hearts to trust;

small seeds of faith,

He’ll grow and raise up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not expect us to do things in our own strength, nor do You call us to somehow muster mountains of faith on our own. Thank You that You take our small seeds of genuine faith, and You grow them in Your grace. Thank You that You move in spite of us, and that all things are possible in You. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the mountains, rather than on You, the Maker of mountains. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might see all things as opportunities for You to move, rather than road blocks in our path. May we live and love in the faith You are growing in us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that is available in You alone. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to sow the seeds that You are growing in us. Amen.

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

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

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Come Close to Rest

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – (Matthew 12:28-30)

 

The burdens that we take up and try to carry are far too heavy and not meant for our shoulders. Some of these may include: our sin, excessive demands, oppression and persecution, and weariness in the pursuit of paths we were never meant to walk alone. Christ sets us free from the weight of the yoke our shoulders should not bear, and grants us rest in Him. Through our relationship with Jesus, the seemingly meaningless and mundane, can become spiritually productive and purposeful, as Christ comes and provides us with His peace, love, healing and help. He makes our yoke easy and our burdens light, in comparison to the weight of the way we were attempting to walk alone. May we lay hold of the rest Christ provides for our souls as we sincerely seek Him.

 

When life’s burdens,Come Close to Rest

are weighing us down;

we need seek Christ,

where answers are found.

Jesus is kind,

and humble in heart;

He is gentle,

where solutions start.

Rest for weary,

strength when we feel weak;

gone are burdens,

we’re not meant to keep.

His peace given,

healing and help too;

restored purpose,

refreshed and renewed.

Come near, dear ones,

He will grant us rest;

sweet interlude,

Christ’s great faithfulness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not desire for us to carry the weight of the world. Thank You that You ask us to come to You and give You our burdens, and allow You to carry the weight that was never meant for us, and You replace it with that which You equip us to bear. Thank You that You are gentle and humble and have rest ready for our weariness. Forgive us for trying to carry things that we were never meant to bear, and help us to lay down the loads before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may continually come before You and hear clearly what we are meant to carry, and what we are to hand over to You. Lead us to walk in love, unburdened by loads not meant for us. May many come to know You, as they witness the freedom we have found in the ease of Your yoke. Be exalted, Lord God, as we learn from You each new day. 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


Creating Bonds in the Body

There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. – (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)

 

First and foremost, we are called to be a part of the body of Christ. We were created for relationship with God and with people. His intention was not for us to hide out with a few fellow like-minded souls for His sake, but rather to invest in the bigger body of Christ. We are called to contribute the gifts that He has placed in each of us, and to love and care for one another, despite our differences. Our hearts ought to celebrate the strengths of our sisters and brothers, not become points of envy nor contention. When someone is suffering, we are invited to walk beside them and extend our strength and support, and as one is honored, we are meant to rise up and rejoice alongside them in their accomplishments. Unity in the body comes as we live life together – in sorrow and in celebration. As we are able to be real with one another, we are creating bonds in the body as Christ intended. May we go forth this day in faith, with genuine concern for the body of believers around us. Let our hearts be united in purpose as we seek to serve Him well.

 

Let not division,Creating Bonds in the Body

find way enter in;

for though we’re many,

we are all for Him.

No gift is greater,

but all are the same;

granted by Jesus,

to spread His great Name.

Build up the body,

united in Him;

grieve when there’s mourning,

rejoice when they win.

Walk with each other,

united in love;

as God intended,

our hope from above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with different gifts for different roles to build Your church. Thank You that no role nor gift is greater than another in Your eyes. Thank You that You ask us to love one another the same – to suffer with the suffering and to rejoice with those who are honored. Forgive us for seeing ourselves as less than or greater than we ought to, and help us to focus all of our attention on what we can accomplish for You and in You, rather than anything that is focused on self. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may operate in the light of Your love. Lead us to love well, so that we may invest in the lives of those around us. Show us how we are to grieve with those in mourning and celebrate with those who are rejoicing. May many come into a saving relationship with You as we seek to honor You in all that we say and do. Be glorified, O God, as we live and love as Your body of believers. 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


Etiquette for Christian Youth

Etiquette for Christian Youth  (click here for printable download)
Source: http://www.letgodbetrue.com/index.php

(My disclaimer: I did not write these rules, the writer seems a little steamed at the youth and messy people ( it sounds like it was written by a catholic nun I had in 8th grade.) It’s a good review for the upcoming youth,  but I don’t agree with everything – like the no flip flops rule and  I like my sloppy clothing style, I always wear blue jeans and comfy is what I’m all about, I havent tucked in a shirt since 1990 and I always eavesdrop. However, just for fun, I’m going to try this on my teens and try to keep a serious face and see what happens. Who knows, maybe they’ll listen )

Courtesy, Decorum, and Manners
1. This is merely an introductory presentation of a very large and wide subject to make you all think a little.
2. Your soft skills may contribute more to your success in any endeavor than occupational or technical skills.
3. There is not enough emphasis or instruction on these subjects today, though they were recently important.
4. As the world implodes and degenerates morally and socially, proper decorum will appear abnormal.
5. As Christians, youth must glorify God, adorn the gospel, and aim high maritally and professionally, at least.
6. Recall recent “C” character traits: cautious, circumspect, conventional, conscious, conservative, classy.
7. For more scriptural reasons for this study, see … http://www.letgodbetrue.com/pdf/great-men-in-public.pdf.
8. First impressions are important for spouses, jobs, good service, influence, and the gospel. Beware of it.
9. Perception (appearance) is valued over reality (substance), so wisdom adjusts to it (Pr 17:28; Eccl 5:3).
10. A dull man dressed well is perceived smarter. Which man is hirable? The sloppy or the refined one?
11. You are youth, with foolishness bound in your hearts, so listening to others, not youthful peers, can save you.
12. We do not want you to be ordinary any more than you want an ordinary job or spouse. Be extraordinary.
13. You do not have a right to your own opinions, for others, adults, set proper behavior to be void of offence.
14. Daniel 1:3-4,8 has four parts of a man: genetic package, academic training, soft skills, and fear of the LORD.
15. When a person exploits these four parts diligently, the results are outstanding, by God’s grace (Dan 1:17-21).
16. Joseph, Ruth, David, Daniel, and Esther adjusted to situations and took their various kingdoms! Copy them!

 SPEECH
1. Gracious speech (gentle, kind, cheerful, positive) goes far (Pr 11:16; 22:11; Eccl 10:12; Col 4:6).
2. Fewer words are better, to save yourself from gaffes and the rule of fools (Pr 17:28; Eccl 10:13-14).
3. Foolish talking or jesting is not convenient and should be replaced with thanksgiving (Eph 5:3-5).
4. Never be guilty of backbiting, slander, talebearing, or whispering, and stop others from doing so.
5. Replace fretfulness and anger in conversation with love, graciousness, cheerfulness, and kindness.
6. If you cannot say anything kind or edifying, say nothing at all, for silence adorns better than choler.
7. Do not repeat personal history that others have heard about you – how boring! In fact, never tell it!
8. Do not hold a private conversation within a small group, especially when eating a meal together.
9. Do not zone out in a group, if the discussion is not about you e.g. leaving, cell phone, yawn, etc.
10. Do not answer for someone else in a group discussion, even if you know the answer and could.
11. Do not correct a person in a group for a minor fact that does not affect the issue being discussed.
12. Do not talk over others that are talking, even when they are slow and you wish they would hurry.
13. Do not publicly ridicule anyone, especially siblings, the younger, parents, or anyone not present.
14. Learn the art of communication, which is less talking and more listening. Ask questions about them.
15. Too much talking, even about good things, is offensive. Much speaking is the sure mark of a fool.
17. Share conversation, especially at meals, by allowing others to talk more. Keep your answers short.

COMMUNICATION
1. Communicate all details clearly. Repeat them periodically. Follow up with confirmation if possible.
2. Emails are not texting or tweeting, so avoid shorthand or abbreviations successful people do not use.
3. Use proper letter-writing protocol when writing emails, for it reflects intelligence and education.
4. Communication skills are one of the most important soft skills – love speech and writing classes!
5. Those who can communicate clearly, easily, and graciously will advance very fast (Prov 22:11).
6. Be a good listener, because that is a big part of communication, and will protect you from errors.

CLOTHES
1. Fads and extremes are for fools. Classic clothes say… intelligent, educated, mature, and successful.
2. Men and women still wear the classic outfits and components they wore 70, 50, and 30 years ago.
3. Clothing standards are set by mature adults over many years, not by family, you, or especially peers.
4. Today’s casual, sloppy, rebellious choices are not attractive or becoming. Dress above the rabble.
5. “Being your own man” and other absurd statements of ignorance and arrogance will take you down.
6. Girls should learn our female modesty suggestions are followed by much of corporate America.
7. No matter what the event and the clothing chosen for it, make sure your clothing is clean and fits.
8. Do not play the peacock looking about you to see how dandy you look in hope others will believe.
9. Modesty must be observed not only by that which is covered but also by the shape the cloths reveal.
10. For any job, you should dress like your manager or the job you want, not the job you already have.
11. Flip flops are for the beach to keep your feet off the hot sand or hot asphalt or for public showers.
12. Blue jeans were taken from farmer’s overalls, so remember that they do not belong in most places.
13. An untucked shirt is for going to the beach or bed – it is not fit for any place outside your house.
14. Comfort does not determine how you should dress – proper behavior is seldom very comfortable.
15. A sport coat with slacks of the same color does not make a suit. It is shameful. Get yourself a suit.
16. Never wear a short-sleeved shirt under a sport coat or suit jacket. The bare forearms prove a fool.
17. Quality is better than quantity or variety; those able to promote or sponsor you know the difference.
18. Quality clothes based on informed purchases for your situation will also boost your confidence.
19. Identify the most successful persons in your industry, company, or situation and copy them.
20. There are websites and books to teach you how to dress for any job, function, or situation. Use them.
FOOD /EATING
1. Use the utensils from the outside in: appetizer fork, then salad fork, then dinner fork, etc.
2. Never touch your food with your fingers … unless you are at Bucky’s eating ribs with friends!
3. Never talk with food in your mouth. If you take proper amounts, your mouth will soon be empty.
4. Only put in your mouth a small amount to chew so that it may be quickly masticated and swallowed.
5. Do not look around while drinking, but keep your eyes downward toward the glass you are using.
6. Be temperate with food and drink – eat too little rather than too much – avoid dullness or elation.
7. Drunkenness and gluttony are equal sins to be avoided and hated by godly young men and women.
8. Avoid pensiveness, fretting, anger, or business when eating – keep meals a happy experience for all.
9. There are specific rules for table conduct, and you should learn whatever else you need to know.
10. Do not put your elbows or arms on the table. Keep your arms at your side and hands in your lap.
11. Dress appropriately for any meal, which should be a step or two up from attire for events around it.
12. Consider the appearance of over-drinking or over-eating and do not allow even the hint at such.
13. Remember basic courtesy of words, such as please, thank you, excuse me, it is excellent, etc.
14. Do not begin to eat until the host begins to eat. Do not begin to eat dessert until the host begins.
15. Do not leave a dinner table without explaining, in proper terms, why you are leaving your company.
16. Tip generously, but do let it reflect the level of personal and professional service provided.
17. Never put a knife near your mouth. It is made for cutting only, not for scooping or sliding food.
18. Do not use toothpicks in public to clean your teeth. Wait until you are in private or at home.
19. Do not let your teeth touch your silverware. It is annoying. God gave you lips for clearing your fork.
20. Never take the last portion or piece on a table, unless the host presses you to do so after deferring.

CELL PHONES
1. Unless on call for life or death, reduce to vibrate in public settings and check calls later or in private.
2. Do not call anyone before 9:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M., unless circumstances require such a call.
3. Never receive or send text messages or receive cell phone calls during dinner. Turn it to low vibrate.
4. Never interrupt a conversation with someone to check your cell phone. Check it later in private.
5. Texting is a child’s game, unless necessary; you will give an account for every idle word you text.
6. Texting is a child’s game, unless necessary; adults seeing you at play will discount you as a child.
7. Since texting allows immediate and private words, how much of texting is slander or whispering?
8. Tweeting is for the fan club of fools, as nothing important is communicated by the unimportant.
9. Do not call anyone in the presence of others unless absolutely necessary and understood by the rest.
10. Cell phones are a recent invention that has added little value and much nuisance. Value them rightly.
11. Never let your cell phone ring in any assembly or meeting of any kind. Keep the thing on vibrate.
12. Never flinch or reach for your pocket when it vibrates, for you indicate to others you are distracted.
APPEARANCE / HYGIENE
1. How many showers in a day would be too many? 4! How many showers in a day are too few? 1!
2. Body odor or bad breath is unacceptable at anytime for any reason. There are very simple solutions.
3. Remember carefully, you cannot smell your body odor or your breath before others are offended.
4. Facial hair should be appropriate to the situation or event, and it should be impeccably groomed.
5. Body weight says more about you faster than anything else and will affect your jobs and a spouse.
6. Remember that youth have the worst body odor, the greasiest hair and skin, and need showers most.
7. Parts of your body visible with clothing e.g. hair, face, teeth, hands, etc. must be impeccably clean.

CARRIAGE
1. Never touch any body part in public that you do not expose to public view e.g. crotch, butt, etc.
2. Never touch your hand to your face or hair unless absolutely necessary. It is annoying and childish.
3. Stand tall and erect without slouching and sit the same way. Walk with head up and shoulders back.
4. When sitting, feet should be flat on the floor and legs together. Who invented crossing legs? Why?
5. Never sing, hum, or whistle to yourself in the presence of others. It is annoying and insensitive.
6. Do not drum with your fingers or tap your feet in the presence of others. It belies boredom.
7. If you must cough, sneeze, sigh, or yawn, do so in private or in a handkerchief or turn your head.
8. Never chew or gnaw your nails, especially in public. Keep your nails clean and short. Clip at home.
9. Do not encroach on another’s space, which is one pace from them. It is offensive for you to enter it.
10. Do not point with your finger at the person to whom you are talking. Let body language be relaxed.
11. Details from posture to the content of your car trunk should enhance your character and reputation.
12. Do not walk too fast – spastic look of the immature; do not walk too slow – slothful look of fearful.

CARRIAGE
1. Never touch any body part in public that you do not expose to public view e.g. crotch, butt, etc.
2. Never touch your hand to your face or hair unless absolutely necessary. It is annoying and childish.
3. Stand tall and erect without slouching and sit the same way. Walk with head up and shoulders back.
4. When sitting, feet should be flat on the floor and legs together. Who invented crossing legs? Why?
5. Never sing, hum, or whistle to yourself in the presence of others. It is annoying and insensitive.
6. Do not drum with your fingers or tap your feet in the presence of others. It belies boredom.
7. If you must cough, sneeze, sigh, or yawn, do so in private or in a handkerchief or turn your head.
8. Never chew or gnaw your nails, especially in public. Keep your nails clean and short. Clip at home.
9. Do not encroach on another’s space, which is one pace from them. It is offensive for you to enter it.
10. Do not point with your finger at the person to whom you are talking. Let body language be relaxed.
11. Details from posture to the content of your car trunk should enhance your character and reputation.
12. Do not walk too fast – spastic look of the immature; do not walk too slow – slothful look of fearful.

POSSESSIONS
1. Your house should be as clean and orderly as the hotel or restaurant where you entertain guests.
2. Your vehicle must be kept clean at all times, in preparation for the angel that needs a ride (He 13:2).
3. The trunk of your vehicle should be kept clean as well, for the need to haul something for a friend.
4. Interior decorating is not a fetish of the rich and famous, for the virtuous woman used it wisely.
5. If you have too much stuff in your bedroom or closet, throw it out before your survivors must do it.
6. Keep quality and useful items that enhance your life; throw everything else away to be organized.

VISITING
1. Do not pretend you are a doctor and give medical advice when visiting a sick person or in a hospital.
2. Do not try to be a stand-up comic for those cast down or sick, for your contrariness aggravates them.
3. Make all corrections of another person in private, unless it must be done publicly for good reasons.
4. Hospitality is a Bible duty and is more than at restaurants. Saints are to be given to it (Rom 12:13).
5. Seek to have prayer at the beginning and the ending, even meals out, to keep things honoring to God.
6. Invitations to your home and a restaurant may have starting and ending times to avoid confusion.
7. True entertainment is more than creating a teen hangout – it is structured with designed hospitality.

HONOR
1. Always show cheerful deference without any fretting to both parents, no matter the issue at hand.
2. Do not wander near others talking – you are eavesdropping. They will invite you, if they want you.
3. Young men, it does not matter you are male, have absolutely no authority over your female peers.
4. Your example is greater than your words, so let your conduct do your preaching, not your speech.
5. A gentleman will give up his seat for a woman or for an older man, if he has any character or class.
6. When a person older than you enters a room, you should stand up and show them honor (Lev 19:32).
7. Never wear a hat while eating in any setting or during any prayer. Uncover your heads, young men.
8. Guys protect girls by giving up their seats, walking next to the street, opening doors for them, etc.
9. Tip housekeeping for your hotel room, barbers for doing a good job, and other low-level servants.
HABITS
1. Unless recovering from surgery, do not oversleep, but establish habits of only necessary sleep.
2. Smoking cigars is a stinking mess at best, so be considerate of the 98% that despise cigar smoke.
3. While speaking to your age group and those under it is necessary, prefer the group above you.

MEETINGS
1. Always be early to public assemblies and take your seat before the announced time for it to begin.
2. Never be early (or late) to a private function unless instructed to be so for a surprise to another guest.
3. Never assume you are invited anywhere without an invitation – do not boldly tag along with a friend.
4. Leave a private event when it ends. Do not linger thinking that the host enjoys your extra company.
5. If you invite a person out to eat, let it be known if you are paying or splitting the tab with your guest.
6. Do not whisper to the person next to you, unless there is a life or death matter that must be disclosed.
7. Do not fidget, turn sideways, turn around, look sideways, or any other immature motions of a child.

INTERVIEWING
1. Know the industry and company and what is expected in employee attire and dress one step above it.
2. Do not dress two steps above those around you, for that is offensive and will undermine your cause.
3. Be prepared. You should research the industry and company and prepare answers for all questions.
4. Follow up. Distinguish yourself from other applicants by classy, gracious, enthusiastic follow-up.

MONEY
1. Never offer to pay for something e.g. a meal and then forget to follow through and actually pay.
2. Do not assume an invitation means they will pay for your meal. Make a full effort to pay yourself.
3. Do not spend beyond your income, even if you can, because perception of a spendthrift will hurt.
4. Living within your means is a duty of the gospel, and even an appearance of evil should be avoided.
5. Repay debts as soon as possible – personal borrowings – by eliminating all discretionary spending.
6. Make sure in any arrangement involving money that each party fully knows who is due how much.
7. The more you use a checkbook, debit card, or credit rather than cash the better paper trail you have.

FACEBOOK
1. It is for children and fools who have no friends but want to pretend they have a large circle of them.
2. Your page should reflect the sober, serious, gracious, and edifying content of good Christian speech.
3. Your posting to your own or other accounts should be weighty and sober, not frivolous and foolish.
4. If this is a large part of your life, it shows you are a loser. Close it and learn to interact with adults.

CHURCH ASSEMBLIES
1. Be in your place before church assemblies are to begin for quiet meditation and preparation.
2. Move forward in your seating to leave back rows available for visitors or those with young children.
3. Services are short enough to avoid leaving for any reason – it is solved by planning and temperance.
4. Families sitting together are family worship for best results – youth with youth create temptations.
5. Coughing, clearing throat, sneezing, yawning are unacceptable and unnecessary. Use inventions.
6. Greet visitors with a friendly and relaxed greeting. There is no need to press them or question them.
7. The nursery is to get young children out of the adult assembly. Worship should occur there also.
8. Ties are always appropriate for a Sunday service, just as they are for an interview or a decent job.
For Further Study:
Note: Most sources are not by Christians; we do not endorse content or intent of any; these sources are to show a generation rejecting manners that they are wrong. These are not in any order, and they are only a suggestion that much more information is available for those that want to polish their image against the rebellious, anti-establishment appearance and conduct now promoted among youth. Adapt practically like Joseph, Ruth, David, Daniel, and Esther to take your kingdom like they did!
Dale Carnegie Leadership Courses
2. Final Touch Finishing School
3. Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette
4. The Art of Manliness: Reviving the lost art of manliness.
5. The Etiquette School of New York
6. Young Marine Etiquette
7. Dining Etiquette at a Glance
8. Email Etiquette at a Glance
9. Wikieducator Business Etiquette and Grooming
10. Etiquette School of Ohio
11. Beaton’s Classes for High Society (New York and London)
12. Book Advertisement (BJU): Man in Demand
13. Book Advertisement (BJU): The New Christian Charm Course
14. Book Advertisement: Dale Carnegie Updated for Digital Age
15. Book Advertisement: Choosing Civility
16. Book Advertisement: Business Etiquette & Professionalism
17. Book Advertisement: Freakin’ Fabulous
18. Book Summary: Dress for Success (John T. Molloy’s original edition; 1976).
19. Typical Website: Dressing for Interviews
20. Typical Website: Dressing for Interviews


Staying Salty

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” – (Mark 9:50)

 

Jesus used salt to illustrate three qualities that should be found in His people: (1) We should remember God’s faithfulness, just as salt when used with a sacrifice recalled God’s covenant with His people. (2) We should make a difference in the “flavor” of the world we live in, just as salt changes the flavor of food. (3) We should counteract the moral decay in society, just a salt preserves food from decay. If we lose the desire to “salt” the earth with the love and message of God, how can we possible be effective in all that we are called to do? - (NIV footnotes for Mark 9:50)

 

How can we have salt in ourselves, and be at peace with each other? The best way to remember God’s faithfulness, is to spend time in His word. As we read story after story of how God has been faithful throughout the ages, our own faith is built up, and we cannot help but recall God’s faithfulness in our own lives as well. When His word and our own testimony are fresh in our minds, they come out in the words that we speak. People notice the flavor of our words, and desire to taste and see for themselves. As peace permeates in places where chaos reigns, the desire for the difference is discernable. Opportunities for His hope to be heard abound. May we go forth as salt, being at peace with one another today.

 

Holy faithfulness,To Season the Earth

like salt of the earth;

covenant promise,

through Jesus’ birth.

Because Jesus came,

and made way for us;

we now can go forth,

with truth to discuss.

May each of our words,

bring salt and bring life;

Christ’s message of love,

peace where there was strife.

Let us each go forth,

as salt of the earth;

extending His hope,

so all find new birth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are salt and light, and that when we come to You, You equip us to be as salt unto those around us. Thank You that You help us remember Your faithfulness, because You are indeed faithful, and You use us to make a difference in the “flavor” of the world that we live in. Thank You that in You, we are able to counteract the moral decay that is happening around us. Forgive us for not seeking to stay “salty”, and help us to never lose our desire to “salt” the earth with love and Your message. Grow our faith, God, so that we may season those around us in such a way, that they too, seek You with their whole hearts. May many come to know You as their Savior and King as we love others as You so lavishly love each of us. Be glorified, O God, as we allow our salt to spread around us while we remain at peace with each other. Amen.

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

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


One to Many

We never quite know the far-reaching impact that one act of obedience may have. For Paul, when he had arrived on Malta via shipwreck and snakebite, he was invited into the home of a chief official on the island. Upon arrival, Paul learned that the father of Publius, the chief official, was sick in bed and suffering. Paul went to him and prayed for him and he was healed. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. – (Acts 28:9) Paul’s following of the Holy Spirit’s prompting to touch one who had fallen ill, resulted in the healing of many, and consequently, the further spreading of the good news of Jesus, throughout the island.

 

What potential impact do our acts of obedience have on others? Kindness to a stranger, a touch to the hurting, encouraging words to one who is discouraged? We need not know the outcome to act as Christ calls us to move. For each of us, have also been the recipient of another’s faithful obedience. May we go forth this day in obedience to all that the Lord asks.

 

A moment in time,One to Many

responding in faith;

to what God has asked,

most memorable wraith.

All who are open,

ready to go forth;

will be granted word,

sent out by the Lord.

He looks for the heart,

that’s ready to serve;

does tremendous things,

His strength to observe.

May we be ready,

with yes and amen;

to go where He asks,

and do as He says.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many examples of the faithful who have gone before us. Thank You that You show us that You use hearts that are willing and faithful to follow what You ask, regardless of circumstances or appearances. Thank You that Your ultimate good will come, even out of the most ugly of circumstances. Forgive us for our lack of faith in the midst of trials, or for our lack of movement when You are asking us to move. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move mightily in all things and at all times, as You ask us to move. Let us love and encourage and be Your hands and heart to those around us, as You so clearly make You love evident to each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we seek to serve You in all that we say and do. Be exalted, O God, as we follow Your leading today. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5


Boldness Before Them

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. – (Acts 4:13-14)

 

Even the most skeptical Sadducees could not deny the truth when it was standing before them. With their own eyes, they had seen the man both before and after his healing. They heard the wise words spoken by men who had not the upbringing nor the schooling to speak in such a manner. The power of the living God dwelling in the hearts of the men, was irrefutable. Astonished and dumbstruck, they had nothing to say, and could not silence the boldness before them, as the power in the hearts of Peter and John was far greater than the futile attempt to silence the faithful from speaking the truth. In the heart of every believer, lies the same Spirit, with the same power to speak the truth. Christ will make us brave before all brethren, if only we choose to allow Him access to our whole heart, and place our trust completely in Him. May we invest our hearts and minds in the truth of God, so that we too, may be bold before all who draw near. Let us speak truth without fear, for far greater is He who is in us, than that which is in the world.

 

Ordinary men,IMG_0268

so faithful to Christ;

stood strong in the truth,

they did not think twice.

All trust in the Lord,

for they knew His strength;

were willing to risk,

their lives at great length.

Boldly the men spoke,

the truth about God;

they could not refute,

nor call them a fraud.

For they too had seen,

the clear evidence;

of Christ’s mighty hand,

awestruck reverence.

We too are the same,

with access to God;

He grants us boldness,

that fills us with awe.

Allow His Spirit,

to move in His might;

He shall grant all things,

to go and shine bright.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make us brave. Thank You that You take ordinary people and do extraordinary things through us, if we are only willing and available unto You. Thank You that it is not by our own strength nor wisdom nor power, but anything good that we do for You, is by Your grace, equipped by Your Spirit in us. Forgive us for thinking that we do not have the proper training nor ability to go forth and do what You ask of us; for even the most learned among us would not be enough without You. Teach us to trust and rely on You completely in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others as You so completely love each of us. May many come to know the power present in a life lived with You. Let those who are looking, find and choose You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we trust Your Spirit within us to strengthen us to go forth with boldness. Amen.

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

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


He Seeks to Save

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. – (Luke 19:10)

 

Jesus broke down every barrier of expectation that people had for the coming Messiah. They expected One who was high and lifted up, to come in power, and claim what was rightfully His. Instead, Christ came as a humble servant, One who came close to the sick, the sinners, and those whom society deemed unworthy and lost. Jesus sought out the seeking, and they were found by Him.

 

Christ continues to come close to the seeking today. He does not have a checklist of qualifications required in order for us to draw near, rather He longs for us to choose Him, to invite Him in, and allow Him access to our life and our heart. Jesus alone, will bring about the necessary changes, we need only allow Him access, followed by willing obedience to that which He asks of us. May we go forth in our sweet salvation, and share His hope with those who are still in search of Him.

 

Humbly He entered,He Seeks to Save

by lowly a birth;

no pompous fanfare,

when He came to earth.

Born in a stable,

announced by a star;

worshipped by angels,

wise men from afar.

The nearby shepherds,

were stricken by fear;

when angels proclaimed,

that Christ had come near.

The Savior, He grew,

wise and without sin;

it took many years,

for His call begin.

He healed the broken,

and touched the disdained;

showed that there’s new life,

and washed away stains.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son in a way that was approachable, reachable and touchable. Thank You that You came near, rather that remaining God out there. Thank You Jesus, that You came and made the way for us to seek You and find You forever. Thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, we are found by You. Thank You that You love and forgive and grant us new life in You. Forgive us for all that we say and do that does not give glory unto You. Help us to live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that brings salvation to the seeker. Be glorified through our every word, act, and deed today, Lord God. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6


Genuine Faith

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” – (Luke 17:6)

 

Jesus was speaking to his disciples about faith. They were concerned about how much faith they should have to accomplish all that He was asking, yet His response reminded them that it was not about how much faith they had, but rather their need for even a small seed of genuine faith. For a seed of genuine faith, though small, is alive and growing. It will take root and grow. Though almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, change and ultimately produce major results. We don’t need more faith; a tiny seed of faith is enough, if it is alive and growing. – (NIV footnotes for Luke 17:6) May our small seeds of faith that are actively pursuing God, take root, grow, thrive, and spread to the vast reaching circles of our spheres of influence. Grow our faith, Lord God.

 

What starts as a seed,Genuine Faith

so small and unseen;

shall grow when tended,

effects unforeseen.

Our faith shall take root,

in Christ, the Divine;

we are the branches,

and He is the vine.

In the growth process,

our hearts learn to know;

the truth that is certain,

so onward faith grows.

In the assurance,

rooted in the Lord;

we lay hold of faith,

trusting our Adored.

May our tiny seeds,

be genuine, strong;

as we go boldly,

as His, whom belong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not require us to have giant faith, in order to move, but rather You look for a small seed of genuine faith that is seeking to grow, and You do the miraculous within us. Thank You that You cultivate and nourish the soil and tend the seed of all whom seek to plant themselves in You. Forgive us for neglecting to invest our hearts and minds into matters that allow our faith to grow, and help us to seek You and trust You in all things and at all times. Grow our faith, Lord God. May our small seeds spread into something that touches many. Let us love as You so tenderly love each of us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we go forth in genuine faith. 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


Position of Privilege

Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” – (Luke 11:23-24)

 

Jesus was speaking to the seventy-two, whom He had sent out ahead of Himself to prepare the way in every town that He was intending to go. All of the individuals living in that time and in that place, had the unique privilege and opportunity to be eyewitnesses of Christ. So many people of that day and age took Jesus for granted. They did not really listen nor obey, despite His divinity displayed before their very eyes. We too are in positions of privilege. Though we are not eyewitnesses to Jesus in the flesh, we have access to more than two millennium of church history, countless translations of the Bible, collections of churches and a plethora of pastors in every city, as well as the vast resource available through technology at our fingertips. Additionally, when we come to Christ today, His Spirit dwells in us and speaks to us – leading and guiding us in the ways we are to go. With such great privilege and power that we have been given, so too, do we have a great responsibility. May we choose to carefully follow Christ, and represent Him well to all whom we encounter.

 

Blessed are my eyes,Position of Privilege

for what they have seen;

the touch of God’s hand,

as He washes clean.

He takes the sinful,

the broken and scarred;

and loves us to life,

our great Morning Star.

His glory witnessed,

His power, divine;

the prophets and kings,

longed to grasp what’s mine.

With His sweet presence,

we have so much more;

let’s follow with care,

Christ whom we adore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are so blessed to live in this day and age where we have endless access to You. We can read about You, listen to teaching and preaching about You, worship You, and come before You in prayer. Thank You that You place Your Spirit in us when we give our lives to You; and You speak to us, teaching, correcting, leading and loving us as we go about our days. Forgive us for taking our position of privilege for granted, or for neglecting Your accessibility that is all around us. Teach us to utilize our resources to grow more deeply in love with You daily, and help us to share our passion for You with all whom we encounter. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified as we are careful to carry out all that You call us to do. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16


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