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disciples

Red Dirt and Pine Cones

342 271 Debi Moses

“I and the Father are one.”  John 10:30

For once we were listening when God stepped in, as our lives did a flip flop, and miraculously changed lanes. Off we went in a direction that had only been on our bucket-list of “maybe someday” and in the blink of an eye, “someday” had arrived.  One that was His next step in life for us but not exactly in our current scheme of things.  The land of our childhood had been calling our names, pine trees, red dirt and sweet smell as the seasons change in our native East Texas.  A home on a lake and a move from the hectic daily life back to our country roots had been on our list for years.  We would say things like … when we move to the lake … one day we’re going to find just the right spot and move to the lake … one day we’re going to get out of this traffic and be able to go fishing whenever we want, one day… You know the drill, you might have been there, or oh “wise one” know that your “one day” is exactly where you are now and are living in “your” moment.

So, with the volume of our hearts turned up so we could hear Him loud and clear, we left the highways and the bi-ways of the big city, and went in search of “home.” You know the spot where you feel a sense of belonging way before your address is changed, or the moving van emptied. It was as if the heavens opened on a spectacular fall Sunday guiding us among the pines to our “home.” And now with the boxes unpacked, a song in my heart and snuggled into my cozy bed, a new wake-up call cleared my foggy brain. It was my new friends “the ducks” taking flight over the lake, greeting me with their morning “Hello.”  This time of day is such a treasure, real life has yet to dawn and there’s time for those pesky scattered thoughts to scurry across my muddled brain. It’s like our puppies’ new best friends the squirrels, as they chase each other among the trees. It’s that time before my daily rhythm begins and a chance to ponder life, and even squeeze in a prayer or two. As my brain cells decided to rise and shine I cherished the peace in my heart and this time and this place. The glistening sun light bouncing off the lake was calling my name.  I threw on my comfy yoga clothes, grabbed a cup of Starbucks and slowly walked down to the sun- drenched dock. I slipped my sleep deprived body into my cozy chair and let the rays of the sun hit my face and realized it was God, not the lake, calling my name.  The sun kissing my face was the Holy One shining His gracious love for me on my tired cheeks.  As I closed my eyes I felt my Savior’s love rush over me and I truly felt one with Him. I’m at peace, let the squirrels chase themselves…  All is Well with my Soul, All is well.

Pray with me:   Holy One, open my eyes and heart so I may feel one with You as I walk my days, hear Your songs in my soul, and feel Your warm kisses on my cheeks.

Living in expectations.

Points to Ponder:

  1. When are you one with the Father?
  2. Have you found your special place?
  3. Are you aware when God touches your heart? How does it feel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Can Speak – The Great Commission

150 150 Debi Moses

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ~Mark 16:15

great-commission-charlie

Charlie

I have been blessed! Mom finally reached that boiling point with Lucy’s obnoxious yapping and made her wear her “quit barking” t-shirt. That sister of mine never shuts up. It’s bark when the squirrel is on the fence, bark when someone comes to the door, bark when Dad comes home. I’ve decided she barks just to hear her bossy little voice. I haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise. Yap, yap, yap! Now it’s my turn. After all, I am the male and suppose to be the great defender of the castle.

For now I’m going to just perch here on my chair and be sure no one tries to hurt Mom. You can never be too careful. It feels pretty good to be the one in charge of our domain. Oops, there’s that pesky squirrel. He’s not really bothering anything, just hanging out. Wait a minute, he just jumped in my tree, you know the one that I water every morning. Hey, Lucy, get off your duff and get that squirrel. Oops, that’s my job now… but I don’t want to tell anyone how they should run their life. I bet momma squirrel is getting acorns to feed her babies. I certainly don’t want to contribute to the starving children problem. That World Vision that feeds hungry children is one of Mom’s pet “causes”, and she might put that t-shirt on me, too.

I hear a lot more than everyone thinks I do. Like when Mom says I’m the strong silent type, not the brains of the outfit.  Hmmm… I haven’t quite figured out how to take that comment. I also hear Mom talk a lot to this guy named Jesus.  I think she’s supposed to tell others about Him, but she seems to have this ongoing discussion about not wanting to be pushy or meddle in others’ lives. That’s kinda like me. I just like to hear stuff and ponder as I lay on the back of my chair. But not Lucy. She just jumps up and goes out and tells everyone the Good News. I’m really not shy, just sometimes my thoughts get confused, and my words get all twisted.

I think Mom’s discussion with Jesus is over something called the “Great Commission”. She’s supposed to go out and tell the world about Him. She says, “Sharing recipes and stories about Miles is a lot easier.” I gather Jesus is a kinda personal topic. (But she didn’t mind sharing my most embarrassing moment of the “cone incident” with the world did she?)

Anyway, she’s been spending a lot of time with Him lately on her kneeling bench. That usually means change is in the wind. Yep, there she goes… she’s talking to Pastor Stan… that’s not a good sign for me. She’ll be gone all the time, and Sister and I will be left alone in our room without a TV. (I’ve gotta talk to her about that. Every guy needs his Sports Center.) Well, I guess you can’t spread the gospel if you sit in your house all day with two adorable puppies, just like Lucy can’t share her story if she wears that t-shirt all the time and doesn’t express herself.

Maybe I better make a move and let the world know I’m alive and ready to share that Great Commission, too. I think it’s something about that Jesus fellow. I better open my ears and see what I can find out. I did hear on TV the other night about how dogs are being used to cheer up old people. Maybe I’ll get me a “cause” and live out the “Great Commission” – go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation. I guess in Lucy’s case, that means squirrels. I wouldn’t mind having a t- shirt with Mark 16:15 on it. I can just see me now….

Points to Ponder:

1. Have you ever followed the “Great Commission”? When?

2. How do you feel if you ignore the “great Commission?

3. Is there Someone in your life who hears more than you think?

Pray with me:

Dear Hearer of all,

You’re everywhere in my world. I thank You for hearing, loving, and  guiding me to follow You.

Listening and following.

 

The Scent

150 150 Debi Moses

iStock_000002316993XSmallAs she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:38

“Is that Shalimar I smell?” asked the gracious woman. “It’s been a long time since I’ve smelled it.” I had tried so hard to follow the strict guidelines as I prepared for my visit to the Dawson State Jail as part of the Texas Hope Literacy worship team. No jewelry, no cell phones, closed-toe shoes and the list continued. I don’t remember anything about perfume on the procedures, but in retrospect I guess that should have been common sense. I didn’t remember applying my usual squirt of perfume that morning, but perhaps it was on my clothes. My “Debi” response would have been, “Yes, it is. Do you like it? It was a birthday gift from my husband.” That would have been the wrong answer in so many ways in this situation. I stumbled over my words for a minute and simply replied, “Yes, it is.”

We gathered in our groups, shared Bible verses, prayer requests and gave thanks for the spirit-filled music that we sang. But the scent of Shalimar and this tender woman’s days gone-by hung in the air. You see, this gray-haired lover of Christ, wearing a white jumpsuit like all of the other women with whom she lived, had a past that is not my business, a future that is not mine to direct, but a present that we honored together.  This time was ours to share because of a scent. As we prayed, I felt like the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet, unworthy to worship with these women – women whom the love of God poured out through the words of their songs, in the light of their eyes and as they clutched their worn Bibles.

As we finished, my tears could have wet the feet of this woman. Not tears of sorrow or despair, but in celebration of knowing that we share the same Lord. The One of hope, not despair; the One of community, not loneliness; her Jesus, my Jesus, He’s the same for all. I wanted to hug her that night and slip her a bottle of Shalimar in exchange for the gift that she gave me, but I couldn’t even touch her. Another rule, but I pray the scent of my clothes found its way into her worn jumpsuit, or into her hair, because the scent of her love for Christ found its way into my heart.

Points to Ponder:

1.  Where is the last time you have truly seen Jesus?

2.  How would you describe your days gone-by?

3.  How would you describe your Lord?

Pray with Me:

Dear Lord of all,

Your essence follows us as we live with You in our lives. Open our noses so we can breathe in this heavenly gift.

Sniffing the air…

 

 

 

For Such a Time

150 150 Debi Moses

… And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14Let us Pray

Once again our lives were transformed as we witnessed unbelievable horror last week.  The unforeseen bombing at the Boston Marathon and the unexplained fire and explosion in West, Texas Read More »riveted our world and moved into our very cores. Emotions erupted in the form of tears, horror, and panic.  Once again we questioned, “Why?”

For many, their lifelong dream of crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon was forever altered.  Several runners lost limbs, and their journey back to another race-day will be filled with anguish and trials. In West, Texas livelihoods and life as it was known was forever changed when a fertilizer plant lit up the night sky with unbelievable force.  Friends and family members were killed and injured in the blast, and life will never be the same in the small Texas town of 2800 people.  West, Texas, “just a place” where I stop and get my kolaches as I head back to Dallas from a trip south on Interstate 35, is now more than “just a place”.

Eyewitness accounts chronicle stories of heroes who ran heedlessly into the plant to put out the fire, alert those who were near the danger, and then ran back with determination to save their neighbors.  In Boston we saw people running into the bombed area to help others, not knowing if another debilitating explosion might flash before their eyes.  Those of us at home, safe on our couches, or at our favorite coffee shop with friends once again began to ask, “Why?”  Why did it happen?  Why did those brave ones run into danger?  Would I do that?  Why would someone want to kill or maim defenseless people, or in the case of West, how do we come to grips with the fact that it “just” happened?  A lot of questions for a little ole girl like me.  And, once again, those of you who look for someone to blame always seem to ask THE question, “If there is a God, how could He let something like this happen?”

My response to that question is, “My loving God doesn’t cause bad things to happen.”  He gives us the courage and endurance to forget ourselves and trust.  He was there with kind words, as the brave Bostonians applied tourniquets with their belts to the injured.  He was in the carnage, wreckage and bewilderment in West.  He let us get up the next morning, walk down the street and not worry about the next explosion. He showed us the immeasurable good in people.

Who doesn’t like a scapegoat?  Jesus was one when He hung on the cross.  He didn’t do anything to deserve the whip to His back or nails in His glorious hands.  Just like the first responders, the citizens of West, the runners or by standers at the Boston Marathon, Jesus walked the earth and lived among us.

And perhaps the hardest question of all…

Could you be His hands on earth if you were Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s nurse, doctor, or attorney? Could you give him a healing touch as you cared for or defended him?  This damaged child of God committed many wrongs, yet our Lord did not forsake Him when he lay in his refuge of the boat.  Tsarnaev might not have been aware, but our precious Savior was there just as He would be for you and me.  He does not turn anyone away.  So you might say, “A God of love would not let this happen; there can’t be a God.”  But I say, “We are loved and inspired to show God to those around us ‘FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS’ – times when the days are dark and the nights long.”  He is in our midst.  He was there, holding the Bostonians and people of West in the palm of His hand, as they stepped out trusting that the God of light would show them the way. We are all here “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.”  You might not call Him “God”, but He is.  My God, your God, everyone’s God, whether you know it or not.  Esther saved a nation, because she listened.  Who has your ear?

Points to Ponder

1. Who is your God?

2. Have you ever felt you were created for “such a time as this?” What was the situation?

3. Is there someone you can’t forgive? Can you pray that God will open your heart?

Pray with me:

Dear God of forgiveness,

We find ourselves in situations that we could never imagine, trusting You will guide us on our way. Help us to remember You are always by our side waiting for us to reach out for Your guiding touch.

Loving You

 

 

 

Its a Hot Flash!

150 150 Debi Moses

He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’”  “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Luke 24:17, 18, 34Businesswoman in Menopause

It came on me like a hot flash.  Minutes earlier, I had strutted into First United Methodist Church in Ft. Worth with my family, parading down the aisle in my Easter finery, reveling in the compliment given to me by Alice, the greeter.  I could tell Alice was definitely a fashionista because of the lovely royal-blue hat with a snappy yellow bow that adorned her head.  I must admit that I felt a moment of envy, but since it was Easter, I quickly dismissed my covetous thoughts and continued my strut down the aisle.

When the minister began the service, we stood up, and I heard those words that we hear every Easter morning, “He has risen, He has risen indeed.”  Suddenly my lip began to quiver, and tears streamed down my face.  I was puzzled and asked myself, “What is the source of these unexpected and overwhelming emotions?”  I wasn’t sweating like my normal hot flashes, so I chalked it up to nostalgia of Easter holidays gone by.  Then when we began to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”, the tears flowed again, and that same warm feeling surrounded my heart.  I couldn’t figure out what was happening.  Strangely, the answer came to me as if Cleopas and his traveling buddy were talking to me on the road to Emmaus.  “Where have you been, Debra Jean?  I can’t believe you don’t know what’s been going on!”

I guess an honest response would have been, “Well, if you must know, at the mall of course, searching for my dress and these essential purple shoes that I was told added a “pop” to my Easter finery.  Then I was assembling Easter baskets for the kids and sending cards to my friends.  What a dumb question!  It’s Easter after all, what am I supposed to be doing?”

But then I would have added that this year I also made time to go to church during Holy Week to hear the sermons, read the prayers, and thank Him for loving me.  Amongst the eggs, the bunnies and my new shoes, I managed to put Jesus smack in the middle of my life.  So what was it about this year that made my heart burst so?  Could it be that I fell in love with my Savior again?  I never thought it was possible to love my Lord more, but if this feeling were a true hot flash, I would have been fanning myself with the program, not drying my tears.

On this resurrection Sunday Jesus appeared to me like He did to Simon.  He came alive in me with three simple words, “Christ has risen.”  The thought of Him giving His life for me stirs my heart and penetrates my soul like the nails in His holy hands.

So there you go, Cleopas, I’m not so unaware after all.  I’m just reveling in His glory and love.  May He continue to be alive in all of us.

Points to Ponder:

1. Do you have a  Resurrection day story?

2. Is there something that makes your heart burst?

3. How is Christ alive in you? Do you feel Him or share Him with others?

Pray with me:

Dear Risen Christ, we strut through our lives sharing our glory, but how often do we strut for You? How often do we show the world Your glory?

Guide us to be walking advertisements of Your love, so others may see Easter in us everyday.