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“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 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…

 

 

 

Not My Business

150 150 Debi Moses

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

I have always been in the business of fixing stuff.  You know, stuff like broken lamps, people, and relationships.  I bet I’m in good company here, right?  Recently I have been introduced to a new concept, and believe it or not, it didn’t come from my husband of 39 years.  The question, “Is it my business?”, has become my new source of pondering.  So, since I’m also in the business of stimulating brains & inspiring conversations, I just knew I should share my revelation with you.

Here are some examples of  “It’s not my business.”

1. “If only they would…” – Not my business.

2. “She really should…” – Not my business.

3. “They could if they wanted to…” – Not my business.

It’s interesting that most “Not my business” phrases center around that old “coulda, shoulda, woulda” concept.  Now that I know that most things that happen in this world are not my business, I get to figure out what IS my business.  So I open  my trusty Bible, and look what I find:  Deuteronomy 6:5 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Hmmm… Easy to do!  If I love Him I trust Him, and if I trust Him I know He has my best interests at heart, and if He has my best interests at heart, He is with me as I live my business.  So, what is my business?  Loving the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength.

I just have one question.  Is the sewer leak under my house my business or the plumber’s?  I think I’ll pass this one off to the plumber.  He’s a nice guy with a hazmat suit and a gas mask, and he really seems to enjoy his work.  I’ll go make him some cookies to take home.  I can do that.  Hey, I like this “not my business” concept; it may get me out of fixing a lot of stuff I don’t want to fix or even think about.  So off I go to bake cookies.  God, you better be ready, because my “fixing business” is closed for the day, and I know Your door is always open.

Points to Ponder:

1.  What business do you claim as your own?

2.  What do you try to fix?

3.  How’s it working for you?

Pray with Me:

Thanks, Holy One, for picking up the slack and taking over for me.  I’ll try to stay out of Your business.

Baking cookies.

 

 

 

Don’t Make Me Go!

150 150 Debi Moses

 

The Winner

“And he saith unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

Matthew 4:19-20

My husband, Mike, saith unto me, “We’re going to the Indianapolis 500.”  I saith unto him, “Why on earth would I want to perch myself in a grandstand while I endure the broiling heat and watch roaring little cars go around and around and around in a circle?  And if a fiery crash were to occur it would scar me for life and leave me quaking at the thought of driving on the toll road.  Besides, the Indianapolis 500 is not on my bucket list, so why on earth would I want to waste my valuable time going to a car race?”  He saith unto me, “Too bad, we have suite tickets, airplane flights, and a lovely place to stay, so put on your big girl panties, we’re going.”  He didn’t exactly say, “put on your big girl panties”, but after thirty-eight years of marriage I know the inflection of his voice, and that was the jest of our conversation.

Admittedly I was not my normal perky, cheerful self when the topic would arise during conservations with friends.  It was comforting to me when the girls would say, “Why are you going to the Indy when there are so many other wonderful places to visit?”  But then the guys would chime in, “Why wouldn’t she want to go?  It’s an amazing race.  It’s one of those things everyone needs to see in person once in their lives.”  So you guessed it.  I went.

While pondering the impending trip I began to equate this journey into the unknown with that of the disciples when Jesus called them to drop their nets and follow Him. They had a good life going for them.  A job, good food, families that loved them, a warm place to sleep and this man says, “Follow me.”  You know, these fearless men didn’t argue or pout, they just dropped their nets and followed Him.  The disciples had heard about our Savior’s miracles, felt His love and were honored by His invitation.  Being such a doubter sometimes, I wonder what I would have done if I had gotten “the call”.  Would I have questioned our accommodations along our journey?  Would I have told Jesus “no thanks” because following Him wasn’t on my bucket list?  Would I have told my joyous Leader I have better things to do?  I pray I would have been a willing follower like the disciples and joyfully dropped everything and walked beside Him.

Each time the fearless Indy drivers sped by, Jesus gave me a chance to pray for their safety and their families’ peace.  Each time a mention was made of the service men and women in the crowd in honor of Memorial Day, it was another time to give thanks for the freedom they have helped to secure for me.  Every moment was a joy and a blessing, because I ignored my desires and stepped out of my comfort zone into an opportunity to follow His plans for me.  The race, new friends, and the sense that God was in the midst teaching me a lesson, again, made the trip one of my most memorable experiences.  I just needed to gladly drop my net of inhibitions, fears, and pride and follow where He led me.  Even if I had to listen to Mike saith unto me, “I told you so.”

Points to Ponder:

1.   Has God called you to go fishing?  What was your response?

2.   Is it easy for you to see God as He works in your life?

3.   Be a witness for our Lord and share with others a time you felt God’s calling.

Pray with me: Dear Father of opportunities, Help me to be open and listen to your call.  Your plans are always the best.

Going fishing with You…