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faith

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loving Hands: “A Tribute to Moms”

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Hands of Love

Hand of Love

And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

“Well, bless your heart,” is a Southern saying for sure, and one that has graced my ears throughout the years. After skinning my knee while chasing my brothers, I would run into the house with tears running down my cheeks, and mom would always say, “Well, bless your heart,” as she gave me a hug, followed by a trip to the medicine cabinet to get the Mercurochrome to clean my “devastating” injury before placating me with a Barbie Band-Aid. That red magic potion would burn like the devil, but she gingerly blew on my knee to help take the sting away. She would lovingly pat my little stubby hand, and I truly believe her touch did the healing. Mom’s youthful hands gradually became spotted with age and eventually disfigured with arthritis as the years went by, but the love she gave with her priceless touch never diminished.

It wasn’t until I slowed down long enough to examine my new blue nail polish that it came to me, “I’ve got my mother’s hands!” The vivid memories came flooding in, and I thought to myself, “This is one sign of maturity that I truly don’t mind.” I realize the appearance of my hands is not a flaw at all — it’s a gift!

When I look at my hands, not only do I see Mom’s hands, her smile travels across my mind. I hear her exuberant claps as she proudly applauds following my lack-luster recitals. I see her holding her trembling hands high up in the air, wearing her crooked cowboy hat, as she played banker and handed over all of the bank’s money to her grandsons, wearing their bandana masks, before they rode away on their stick horses. I see her sitting in her chair, lovingly stitching with her hands each square of material, as she made the many quilts we have cuddled in throughout the generations. Even today, I can still feel the warmth of her hands leaving her body as I held on to them tightly, selfishly not wanting to let her walk away into the arms of Jesus. I was truly blessed by her hands, her touch, and her love.

Now I get to share the blessings of mom’s hands with my grandchildren. Taking walks holding on to their soft little hands, folding my hands into “prayer hands” as a little one says the family prayer, and even taking a squirmy fish off of a hook is the best way I know to pass on the love. At the end of the day I get my reward when bath time comes, and I get splashed with bubbles from little ones as they play with trucks, sheep, cows, and whatever else may find its way into the tub. Being baptized and blessed by a grandchild’s love is the very best.

Jesus took the little children in His arms and touched them and blessed them. Little children, mature adults and even those pesky teenagers need a loving touch. The joy of a mother is taking our children into our arms, reaching out when they need a hand to hold, or clapping to encourage even the worst performance. That is our joy. If you’re not with your mother today, remember her touch, breathe in those treasured memories that will make your heart sing and feel the many blessings that Jesus gives each of us. If you are with your mother, walk over to her and just sit closely and hold her hand. Blessing her with your touch is the best gift of all as you celebrate her day.

Pray with Me:

Dear Father of Loving Hands,

You reach out to us and hold us so many times as we walk our days. Thank you for giving us the women in our lives who molded us by their touch.

Reaching out to You

Points to Ponder:

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes and come and go in our lives, and I was blessed to have three wonderful mothers whose hands touched my heart and soul. My mom, Lanore Austin, who gave me life, my precious mother-in-law, Mary Frances Moses, whose hands taught me how to needlepoint and make a great chocolate pie, and my other mother, Billie Johnson, who came into my life in the form of a friend, and created joy wherever she went.

  1. Who are the mothers in your life?
  2. If you can’t name one, is there someone in your life who needs a child?
  3. What’s your favorite memory of your mom? Share it with someone and continue her story.

“Chicken Fried Steak” Psalm 51:21

150 150 Debi Moses

“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  Psalm 51:2

A Real Mess

A Real Mess

Look at that stove.  How did I ever get myself into this mess?  Just three hours ago if you walked into our home the fragrance of pine floated through the air but now if you sniff, you are greeted by the greasy scent of a country diner.   This lovely odor is entirely  my fault.  After I lost my mind this morning with a mysterious desire to clean the house, including the stove messy from a weekend of pancakes and bacon, my  “Suzy Homemaker” mode somehow continued.

As my husband entered the back door home from a hard day at work, I asked the dumbest question of all, “What do you want for supper?” You have to understand that I don’t cook that often. I mean really cook. I might grill outside, or gather stuff from the local grocery store, even warm something in the microwave on occasion, but that’s it.

I  decided when our youngest son headed off to college, cooking was entirely overrated. I can’t deny it, the only time I really cook is when we have guests or the kids come home for a visit. So you can imagine how taken aback my husband was by my inquiry. Totally shocked, my sweetheart meekly asked, “What are the chances of chicken fried steak?” I now reverted back to my normal self and responded, “Chicken fried steak,” three of the dirtiest and most dreaded words in the dictionary of any sane cook.” You’ve got to be kidding. The kids aren’t coming home so what possible reason do I have to cook that greasy, stinky concoction? It’s a mess and besides it’s Monday and my kitchen is sparkling clean.”

At some moment in time I vaguely remembered my Bible verse for the day, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” That morning, not being a Bible scholar, I looked up the definition of “iniquity.” Well believe it or not it means “sin or transgression, something done to hurt another.” So I rethought my actions, rephrased my words and said,  “What was I thinking, there’s nothing I’d rather do that cook chicken fried steak for you.” Crazy words for sure, but I certainly am glad when God looks at me some days and sees a mess He says, “Bring me some water and I’ll wash her clean AGAIN!”  And I am so thankful that He doesn’t say, “Not tonight, I can’t deal with a mess now, after all it’s Monday.”

Just in case you want to get messy here’s my recipe for Chicken Fried Steak…

You’ll need: cube steak, flour, salt, pepper, an egg,  milk and the most important ingredient, oil.  Pour the oil into the skillet and let it get sizzling  hot. Salt and pepper the meat, roll it in flour, dip it in the egg and milk mixture and roll it in the flour again.  Then place it in the hot grease.  When it’s brown and rising to the surface and the kitchen smells really tasty, you’ll know it’s time to take it out and get ready to chow down.  The most important thing to do after this is to offer a prayer of thanks that you didn’t burn down the kitchen.  Everything else is just gravy.

Points to Ponder:

1. What have you cooked lately? Did it warm your soul?

2.  Do your Bible lessons stay with you throughout your days?  What keeps them close to your heart?

3. Do you ever feel like a spiritual mess?  Why?

 

Pray with me:

To the Real Mr. Clean,

Thank you for being with us to wash us and clean up our messes.  We don’t always have to ask, because you know our hearts and a gentle reminder is enough.

I’m busy degreasing my life.

 

The Look John 5:6

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Run and dance“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me. John 5:6-7

“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked the man as he lay by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. Surely people inquired about this poor man as they did me while I sported my snappy looking knee brace. He had been lying by the pool for years and no one would help him into the healing waters.

Unlike him, I garnished many looks and remarks as I limped along wearing my new fashion accessory. “You poor thing” or  “Did you strain your knee running in a marathon?” were just a few.  (I don’t even know how many miles are in a marathon, but if it equals four laps around North Park Mall, that might be a realistic possibility.) Being a straight – forward person, the truth always came out. “Never table dance in six inch heels. It can be hazardous to your health, especially if your husband spills lemonade on the table.  In fact, it can result in a slip and fall even by the most balanced of dancers like me.”  As I perched on the edge of that rickety table looking for a hand to catch me, I wonder how many blessings I have missed by being self-absorbed and passing others with despair in their eyes as they sat on the edge of the pool of life like the man at the Sheep Gate?  They might have been looking for a hand to catch them, push them into the healing waters, or praying for a listening ear and gentle touch.  Praying for the Holy to enter their being so they could be healed body, mind and spirit.

Like them, sometimes I limp through my days looking for a little help and others I dance, enjoying every minute. But then I slip on the edge and in fear grasp the edge instead of diving in headfirst. Perhaps since my table-dancing days are over, I’ll have more time to keep my feet on the ground, listen for the Holy One and keep my eyes open for others who want to go for a little dip. I’m blessed someone tossed me in years ago, but I can always use a refreshing dip.

Pray with me:

Dear Lord of Refreshment,

Your healing powers are just a breath away. Help me to let go and slip into Your healing arms.

I’m dancing for You

Points to Ponder:

1.  What prevents you from resting in Jesus’ arms?

2.  Have you ever seen pain or hurt in someone’s eyes? Were you present for them?

3. Have you been touched by a stranger’s kindness to you?

 

Kit Kat -The Gift – James 1:17

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The Gift

Q’s Favorite

 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

I should have covered my eyes until the checker said, “Next please,” but oh no, standing beside me encouraging the purchase was the “good and perfect gift” God had brought into my life three years ago. I love presents and when they improve with age they’re even better. Notebooks, pencils, pens, and folders along with a snappy backpack were atop the pile in the shopping cart as we headed to the check out line. We thought we were finished with back-to-school shopping until before us, loomed those pesky racks that surround all lines.  Instead of the usual stash of magazines, was a shelf full of big fat, chocolaty, crunchy Kit Kats.

My gift had grown from a 13- year old boy to a man of 16 who can eat all the Kit Kats he wants and still fit into his clothes. (Maddening!) Well of course you can imagine what happened.  He got the king-size Kit Kat and I got the mini.  After all, you can’t let a kid eat alone. The same thought I had when we chowed down on ribs at our next stop after he got new school shoes, and the same thought I had when we got ice cream as we finished up our shopping.

When our day was finished and I took Q home, I got my hug and before he got half way to his door, the light bulb went off in his brain and he remembered the rest of his Kit Kat.  It had taken refuge in my purse when we were loading the car in the 105 degree Texas heat.  When he smiled it was as if the Father was shining His heavenly lights on him as that “good and perfect gift” warmed my heart and made me thankful I was who I am and where I was.  I could have been in the mall shopping for more “stuff” to adorn our house or my body, or spending my time on more exercise or heaven forbid doing the laundry.  But I was sitting in my car in the heat reveling at the fact that something like a Kit Kat could make a child’s eyes twinkle with our Father’s lights. In fact, I think I have some let over Kit Kats from last Halloween in the pantry. I know they will put a twinkle in my eyes with the memory of a day well spent.

Points to Ponder:

1.  How do you spend your days?

2.  Do you have a “good and perfect gift” in your life?

What is it?

3.  Have God’s heavenly lights ever shown in your life?

Pray with me:

Dear Sweet One,

I’m always looking for the light from above that you share with me. Guide me to always be open to the brightness all around.

Thanking you