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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.

“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.

 

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