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peace

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

 

 

 

Holy Week ~ Glorious Sunday

150 150 Debi Moses

“Walk in the newness of life.”  Romans 6:4Holy Week

Sometimes we hit the wall as we live our hectic lives and our time with God goes rushing by. Pause and take a second glance into the tomb of your life.  You might be surprised Who you might meet, Who will make your life anew.

Pray with me:

Dear Father of All,

Please don’t let us miss You.  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary rushed by Your Son on the side of the road without a second glance.  Our lives are so hectic that our time to be with You goes rushing by, and sometimes we miss our time to walk in newness. Make our hearts anew so we will take a second glance into the tomb of our lives and not miss You, Holy One.

 

Holy Week ~ Saturday

150 150 Debi Moses

“It is no longer I who live, but it Christ who lives in me.”  Galatians 2:20Holy Week

We are, by the grace of God, equipped to be present for the others in our lives. Not just our friends and family, but the “others” who cross our path holding a sign in need of food, on the corner we pass each day.  God is present for us, may we let Him fill us so we can share His gift.  How is God present for you?

Pray with me:

Oh Holy of Holies,

“Truly this man was the Son of God!” were the words of the centurion as he stood in front of Jesus.  He was there and heard Your Son cry out to You, Father.  Open our hearts to let You live in us, so we can hear the cries of those around us who need Your love.  Help us to welcome Your presence and fill us, so we can share Your gift.

 

Holy Week ~ Good Friday

150 150 Debi Moses

“I pray that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:19 Holy Week

To be filled with the Spirit, we first must be emptied, a frightening thought.  Only one thing satisfies the longing of the soul, the one thing Jesus said was needed, God.

Stand with your arms upraised.  Let the Spirit of Christ fill you, entering every cell of your body.  With each breath ask God to fill you.  With each exhalation let go of the ego desires that take up space in you.  Stay in the silence for a few minutes.

Pray with me:

Oh Tender One,

Empty us, Dear God.  We want to sit at Your feet like Mary, as Your Son hung on the cross. With lives full of distractions it is difficult to find room for You.  Help us satisfy the longing of our souls as we sit in prayer with You.