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heart

A Surprise Party

150 150 Debi Moses

“ Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.  That everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”

John 3: 14-15

As I sat here in my new hairdresser’s chair with my life laid out before me, I found myself more concerned about my lake hair than a stint down the river. I thought I could keep the story to myself, but no!  The kids had come for our inaugural lake weekend. I had survived rides on the inner tube, so I felt bulletproof.  I honestly thought I had put the clandestine adventure behind me, but oh no. The words spewed out of my mouth, and the dreadful saga of “Sammy the Snake” unfolded. Hold on to your seat!

Just how was I going to get rid of the victim and clean up the murder weapon? I snagged a shovel from my neighbor, that I had known for all of three weeks, and coerced her to join in this exciting escapade. After a short discussion, we took a vote and decided the best thing to do was toss the snake into the lake. (No wonder she never goes down to the lake to swim.)  While I was washing the patio and the scene of the crime began to disappear before my eyes, I suddenly became aware of the weapon I had grabbed. It was a lovely decorative cross on a stand that adorned the previously peaceful, welcoming porch. I killed the serpent with a cross!  Oh my!  With the crime scene destroyed, I could sleep soundly with peace in my heart, until now!  

I killed the serpent with the cross.  I lifted Jesus up high to all who would listen.  Because I believe in Him and want everyone to know His story.  Sometimes we are sent unusual experiences to spread His word.  It’s amazing how washing down the patio can lead to washing a heart clean.

Praise His holy name!!

Ponder This:

1. Has Jesus ever snuck up on you?  When?

2. Has Jesus’ power ever surprised you?

3.  Have you kept it to yourself, or blabbed away like me?

Pray with Me:

Dear Jesus,

You surprise me in so many ways.  Thank you for opening my eyes to see You at every turn.

Your snake hunter

I hope you can join me next week as we do a little laundry together! You’re thrilled at the thought I’m sure. And remember as my auntie used to say, “No matter how bumpy the journey, your path has already been cleared.”

NOW PODCASTING!

I hope you’ll be my walking partner as I navigate my way through a life of whimsy, grace, and a lot of love for our Savior. You can read about my adventures on this blog, Wandering the Path, or if you’d rather, join me on my podcast Wandering the Path with Debi.

ADD WANDERINGTHEPATH.ORG/PODCAST.XML TO YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP

ALSO AVAILABLE IN APPLE AND GOOGLE PODCAST DIRECTORIES

I Miss Your Smile

150 150 Debi Moses

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Okay, I’m just going to shout it from the rooftops, “I miss the laughs and giggles of my grandkids and kids.  I miss my back pew at church.  I miss my life-long friends, and since it’s true confession time, I miss my favorite coffee shop and my sugar-free vanilla latte, yet most of all, oh yes most of all, I miss your smile.”

Those simple upturned lips that signal a moment of recognition, excitement, and perhaps a fleeting memory. Your name may be a mystery to me, but you’re still part of my world.  We have passed in the aisles at the grocery store, the cleaners and perhaps even the pharmacy, but you’re no longer there.  As hard as it is to believe, I only don my lovely mask and gloves and join the world every two weeks. We might have missed each other along the way. It’s as if the world has been turned upside down, and it has. 

Yet here I am, with my life basically unchanged, sitting on the dock with my puppies gazing at the glorious sunset with a breaking heart. A breaking heart for lives that have been changed in ways I can never imagine.  Breaking for families who now have empty chairs around their table.  Breaking for the precious children of God who are living in homeless shelters or the street, hungry and falling farther and farther behind in school. Breaking for moms and dads who can no longer provide for their family because of lost jobs. Breaking for those of you who can only see your aging family members through a window. 

But in the heartbreak, there’s a time of thankfulness. Thankful for the brave men and women on the front lines, keeping us healthy, fed and safe, our world clean, and our hearts and soul healed. As I sit in awe of the gift of the sunset, my heart is joining with those of you who are kneeling in prayer, thankful you have survived another day wrapped in the Holy’s arms.

This is a time when the similarities of one’s path vary more than ever. Some of your lives may be like mine and my western loving cowboy, whose only bump on the road is rationing toilet paper, or watching the same TV shows over and over, despite having a choice of more than 300 channels. (All I have to say about that is someone in my house is a fan of the western channel.)

But through these days of confusion and emptiness, your compassion for one another is seen through the lessons we’re teaching our children as they write words of thanks to visitors who make deliveries to our homes in chalk on their walkways, or signs posted on apartment windows. Families are gathering on social media celebrating special time that might have been missed because of those trite words, “We were just too busy.” Cards and letters are being sent snail mail to forgotten ones in our lives while many are pitching in financially to share their blessings. Through all of this despair my heart is reaching out to each of you, and I feel your never-ending grace. Grace we’ve learned to grant one another through our twinkling eyes as we honor one another by wearing a simple mask or standing 6 feet apart. 

We all have our dark days, whether it’s the ones we are living now, the days that lurk in memories past, or in the times on the other side of a sunset that are yet to come. But the Lord is blessing us, His face is shining on us each day. His face is turned toward us each night, warming us with His glorious love. This is the serenity you feel when you gaze at a sunset, or perhaps as you close your eyes at the evening’s end and say, “Thank you for loving me Father.” I have peace knowing He will take care of you.  And one day I’ll see your smile again, and man oh man, my heart will sing.

Ponder with Me:

1. Do you miss anything?

2. Have you had dark days? Close your eyes and sit with the Holy.  Let His everlasting love wash over you.

3.  Do you truly believe God will take care of you? 

Let us pray together:

I love you Lord. My heart sings when I hear your name, your promises, and feel your grace.

I will never miss your smile, because it never fades away. You warm me with your spirit in the sunrises and sunsets. I am blessed to be your child.

Gazing  at your love.

NOW PODCASTING!  
ADD WANDERINGTHEPATH.ORG/PODCAST.XML TO YOU FAVORITE PODCAST APP.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN APPLE AND GOODGLE PODCAST DIRECTORIES
 
 I hope you’ll be my walking partner as I navigate my way through a life of whimsy, grace, and a lot of love for our Savior. You can read about my adventures on this blog, Wandering the Path, or if you’d rather, join me on my podcast Wandering the Path with Debi. 
 
And remember, as my Auntie used to say, “No matter how bumpy the journey, your path has already been cleared.”

Loving Hands: “A Tribute to Moms”

150 150 Debi Moses

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.

The Look John 5:6

150 150 Debi Moses

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?

 

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…