Redeeming the Time

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)

How do you spend your extra hour each year? As I write this devotion, it is the night before we set back our clocks to standard time in the United States.  Most of you must follow this same ritual, springing clocks forward an hour each spring and falling back an hour again in the fall.

It’s a challenge to reset every clock in the house, car and even my Sunday school room.  We amazingly have a VCR with a clock that still works.  It was cleverly programmed at the factory to reset itself each fall and spring.  However, that was before a new law was passed, extending daylight savings time a few weeks at both ends of the season.  So, our VCR clock is always off for a few weeks this time of year.

What do you do with that extra hour you have every fall?  Do you sleep in?  Do you finally make it to church on time?  Do you spend time with your kids or husband?  Do you have an extra-long CUPP of TEA with Jesus? Do you treat yourself to time on a favorite hobby? There are certainly numerous ways we could spend that hour, as well as every hour of every day.  My prayer is that we use ALL our time for His glory and in His will, whether it is an extra hour or a regular hour in a 24-hour day.

God’s Word helps us pray to number our days aright, that we may gain hearts of wisdom.  I believe this also applies to every hour of the day.  May they all be used in ways that honor Him!

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)

Of course, we’ve all wasted time, whether it was a day, a week, a month, or even years.  Wrong choices can fill us with regrets, wishing for a chance to redeem that lost time.  My friend, I have Good News!  God, the GREAT REDEEMER, can redeem the lost time for you.  In the book of Joel He promised His people He would restore the years that the locusts had eaten.

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you. Joel 2:25 (NKJV)

My friend, you are not alone. We all have years we want to trade in on new ones.  Jesus can redeem the time.  He will give you the years the locusts have eaten plus eternity in heaven.  Jesus took on Himself, all our sins, all our regrets, all our hurts, and all our pains, when He died on the cross. When we confess our sins to Jesus, He forgives us, already having paid the price for those sins so long ago.  After Jesus died, He rose again, conquering sin and death, and giving all who believe the promise of New Life. Isn’t that Good News?!! Believe our Great Redeemer!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!  Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.  Psalm 107:2 (NKJV)

O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life. Lamentations 3:58 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

My Morning TEA

 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up. Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)

My favorite time for TEA with Jesus is first thing in the morning. Before the concerns of a new day hit, we need to sit down with Jesus, letting Him fill our CUPPS with His Word.  So today’s verses all have a morning theme.  When we pray at the dawn of the day, we follow in the steps of Jesus:

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. Mark 1:35 (NKJV)

T for Thanksgiving:

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light,
The name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. Isaiah 24:15 (NKJV)

But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble. Psalm 59:16 (NKJV)

For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name. Amos 4:13 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33:2 (NIV)

 C for Calling:

To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night.  Psalm 92:2 (NKJV)

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You. Psalm 143:8 (NKJV)

If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10 (NKJV)

 U is for Understanding our story:

I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word. Psalm 119:47 (NKJV)

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. Psalm 130:6 (NKJV)

He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned. Isaiah 50:4 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:9-10 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14 (NIV)

But to You I have cried out, O Lord,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.  Psalm 88:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  The old song, “In the Morning When I Rise, Give me Jesus” fills my head as I pray these morning verses.  May you be blessed, My TEA CUPP friend, as you spend time with Jesus this morning and every morning.

Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.  Psalm 55:7 (NKJV)

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011.

Choosing Life

We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind… Isaiah 26:18 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago we had sad news from our daughter.  She and her husband were losing a baby at just 8 1/2 weeks in the womb.  I know miscarriages happen all the time, I know how awful it feels, because it’s happened to us three times.  Yet, the pain is still there when it happens again to another loved one.

Just a week earlier I had shared about our babies at a local church.  I realized as I was preparing for the talk, that I hadn’t cried in a long time.  God had allowed us a time of peace.  Then, boom (that’s how things always hit, isn’t it?), the heart-breaking news from our daughter.  A little grandbaby is joining our babies in heaven.  Our hearts were torn open once again. Our daughter put this beautiful post on her Facebook page:

How we pray for God to comfort them  and bless them with another sweet baby to ease their hurting hearts! I pray this for all moms who have lost babies.  May Jesus send a child for you to love and cherish. Just this month in my Samaritan Ministries prayer guide, where we pray for one person a day (and I only have a small portion of people whose last names begin with “W”), there were 11 babies and two were miscarriages. Many moms and dads are hurting out there.

For some people, though, there is pain through bad choices.  Woman have been lied to in the United States for almost 50 years that they have a choice to make for babies.  It is the serpent from Genesis whispering into Eve’s ear that he has something better for her. This is not new, for we read in the Bible verses that make me cry…

Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,
And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not spare children.  Isaiah 13:18 (NKJV)

Satan brings death.  Jesus gives life.  I exhort you to choose life your baby, no matter what. And if it is too late and the decision is behind you, come to Jesus, my friend, and find the forgiveness and healing for which you are longing.  His arms are wide open for you. Someday we will see all these babies in heaven! If only we could match all these babies with the empty arms and hearts that are longing for a child.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oh, Jesus, our hearts break when babies die before they have a chance to be born due to miscarriage. It hurts that people are choosing to kill babies before they are born through abortion.  It’s unbearable to hear of little ones being hurt and killed.  We know we live in a fallen world where pain and sickness happen, but it still hurts.  Please wash away our pain. Forgive us.  Pour your oil of joy on our hurts.  Comfort our hearts. Give us beauty for ashes. Help us to honor the lives you have given us.   We look forward to seeing our precious little ones with You in heaven someday. Thank you, dearest Jesus.  

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

 

TEA with 2 Thessalonians

Good morning, TEA CUPP Friends!

This CUPP of TEA you can sip in one hour, and then savor the rest of the day.  First read the book of 2 Thessalonians from the New Testament in your Bible.  2 Thessalonians is only three chapters and won’t take long to read. The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians, a group of early Christians.  Use your pen to underline your favorite verses.  Now with your verses begin a conversation with Jesus, praying and talking with Him. Below I have listed the verses that jumped out at me and how I might use them in prayer…

T for Thanksgiving:

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other.  2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, thank You for these special people in my life…

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, thank You for saving…

E for Exalting:

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:12 (NKJV)

O Jesus, O Father, be glorified in my life and in the lives of…

A for Admitting:

For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NKJV)

O Lord, forgive me for being a busybody…

 C for Calling:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NKJV)

 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, please help me stand fast and not grow weary while doing good…

U is for Understanding our story:

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NKJV)

O Jesus, You have given me everlasting consulation and good hope by grace…

P is for Promises:

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NKJV)

Lord, I claim Your promise to guard me from the evil one…

P is for Petitioning:

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

O Lord, give peace to all on my prayer list as I lift up each name to You…

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Extra petitions for my missionary son and for you to pray for the missionaries on your prayer list…Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power… 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,  and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Leave No Doubt

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 (NKJV)

It seems that as we get older, we attend more funerals and memorial services for loved ones, friends and acquaintances in our town, some departing too soon.  The pastors leading the services always do a beautiful job of sharing memories of the departed and comfort for those left behind. We are especially comforted if we know the person is in heaven with Jesus.

I remember when my college cross country team died in a plane crash, I knew my coach was in heaven because of his life.  Whenever we came home from meets I was always the last one to be dropped off, giving Coach plenty of time to share his faith.  Coach Ron would talk long and serious about things I did not understand, yet I knew they were important.   When he wasn’t planning our next big workout, he served at his church.  Coach Ron had a dream to start a Christian running camp in northern Wisconsin. Because of his faith and example, I know my coach is with Jesus and will be there when I get there, too.

Every once in awhile, though, there is someone who we aren’t sure where she stood in her faith journey. We wonder if he is with Jesus.  We pray she is in heaven.  We ask God to comfort us and assure us he is with Jesus. But we just aren’t sure.

So, I want to encourage you today to LEAVE NO DOUBT when it is your turn to go.  Make sure that while you are living, people know you love Jesus.  Tell them how you study your Bible and meet with Him each day for prayer. Let them see the fruit of your faith in good works. Share how you are looking forward to the day when He comes to take you home.  Then, when it is your turn to leave this world, your friends and family will have NO DOUBT that you are now in heaven having TEA with the King of kings!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Confirm your eternal destination today by praying with Jesus.  Invite Jesus into your heart to forgive you and guide your remaining earthly days.  Then tell a friend about this heavenly TEA party so she can join you there, too!

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NKJV)

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

My Rockin’ Rock TEA

Some dear ladies in my town own a wonderful tea company called Tumblewood Teas.  They are always blending new flavors of tea, from Lemon Beehive Honeybush to Petticoat Peppermint to Sweet Grass Celebration to Prairie Spice Pear.  I want to try them all, but sometimes I get stuck on a favorite for a few months.  It’s the same way for me with Bible verses. There are so many wonderful verses to memorize and pray, yet I often focus on my same favorite verses for weeks at a time.  So, today we’re brewing a new blend of verses with Jesus as our Cornerstone.  Sit with Jesus for a CUPP of Rockin’ Rock TEA today! Use these verses as  conversation starters as you pray with Jesus all week long.

T for Thanksgiving: 

Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty ROCK.  Deuteronomy 8:15 (NKJV)

He made him ride in the heights of the earth,
That he might eat the produce of the fields;
He made him draw honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty ROCK. Deuteronomy 32:13 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

He is the ROCK, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.
 Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV)

No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any ROCK like our God.
1 Samuel 2:2 (NKJV)

The Lord is my ROCK and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NKJV)

The Lord lives!
Blessed be my ROCK!
Let God be exalted,
The ROCK of my salvation! 2 Samuel 22:47 (NKJV)

But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the STONES would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Of the ROCK who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you. 
Deuteronomy 32:18 (NKJV)

In God is my salvation and my glory;
The ROCK of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God. Psalm 51:12 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

For You are my ROCK and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3 (NKJV)

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the ROCK. Matthew 7:24 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a ROCK,
And established my steps.
Psalm 40:2 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a ROCK.
 Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

To You I will cry, O Lord my ROCK: Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Psalm 28:1 (NKJV)

Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my ROCK of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.
Psalm 31:2 (NKJV)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  While you sip  your Rockin’ Rock TEA today, enjoy this old hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. May Jesus be our ROCK in every area of our lives, now and always.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Edward Mote, ca.1834

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

God is so Good!

Thank you to my friends Donna and Wendy and the Forest Service for these great photos!

He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields. Job 5:10
(NKJV)

In Montana we had a miracle these past few weeks.  For two months we had smoke and fires.  Then God sent rain and snow to put them out!  The next week He sent more rain and snow, just to make sure there weren’t any more hot spots.  God is so good!

Usually we have the bluest sky in all the world here in Montana.  It really is the Big Sky State, with a sky that for me stretches from the Beartooth Mountains to the Absarokas to the Crazies and beyond.  But on July 17, my parents came to visit and suddenly it was hazy. I remember, because we always want it to be beautiful for our family and visitors.  But the Crazy Mountains just weren’t as clear any more.

The smoke persisted for two months as over a million acres of Montana forests and ranch lands burned.  Firefighters worked nonstop to contain the flames.  High temperatures and drought conditions kept the blazes going. It seemed that every time there were storm clouds, we would get the lightning, not the rain, as if someone was praying Psalm 144:

Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter them… Psalm 144:5 (NKJV)

The second week of September it was 90 degrees and a new fire broke out from a lightning strike at the north end of the Crazy Mountains.  From our house we could see the plume of smoke going up to the sky.  Friends’ husbands were going out to fight the flames.  People were posting on Facebook, “Pray for snow!”

And guess what, God sent rain and snow!!!  He really does answer prayers!  When the storm lifted we had blue skies again and snow covering our long-hidden Crazy Mountains.  The doxology was my prayer as I took in this beautiful sight, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above the heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”

Alleluia!  Jesus answers prayers!  I bet our friends in the south affected by the hurricanes have awesome stories of  God’s goodness, too!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Let’s praise Jesus for how He has provided for us, carried us through the storm, protected us and answered our prayers!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Pebble Pocks in My Palms

When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:12

Why was my nose in the dirt?  Lying face down on the gravel road with pebble marks in my hands and knees, I wondered, “What happened?” Just a split second before I was running and praying for my neighbors.  How had my feet slipped?  My shocked body just wanted to lie in the dust, but my brain told me to get up. So, I pulled my bruised flesh off the rocky ground and hobbled home.

Having a good cry on the sofa was a welcome idea, but then I remembered my busy schedule and this was my only chance to go running.  So, with band-aid help from my dear husband and youngest son, I was soon out the door and running again, this time on the smooth highway, managing to squeeze in five miles before breakfast.

Still, a week after my running fall, I could feel the pebble pocks in my palms and see the bruises on my legs, a reminder of God picking me up. I know it could have been so much worse, as friends have been through broken arms, fingers, legs, ankles, and concussions this year.  But God let me feel it in my hands to remind me of his Son Who also has marks in His hands.  His marks proclaim how He died for the sins of all the world.

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Jesus died for you, my friend.  He has nail holes in His hands to remind us of His sacrificial death on the cross.  All who believe in Jesus are saved and will live forever with Him in heaven.  Today, let Jesus pick you up from wherever you have fallen. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living. Psalm 116:8-9 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

A Pot of Psalm 40

Oh, how I love my TEA time with Jesus.  It’s the best way to begin my day, immersed in His Word.  Are you reading a Psalm or Bible passage each day and praying with Jesus? I want to encourage you again, to take time each morning to chat with the Lord.  Here are some verses from Psalm 40 to get you started…

T is for Thanksgiving

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
 
Psalm 40:5 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God… 
Psalm 40:3 (NKJV)

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”  Psalm 40:16 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Psalm 40:6 (NKJV)

For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me. Psalm 40:12 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

  I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
Psalm 40:1-2 (NKJV)

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me... Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)

…Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord
Psalm 40:3 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning (pouring out my heart)

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. Psalm 40:11(NKJV)

…You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me! Psalm 40:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: This morning prepare Psalm 40 for your TEA bag.  Let it steep in your pot and pour several CUPPs as you enjoy your prayer time with Jesus. 

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Wings of the Morning

If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:9-10 (NKJV)

I don’t like flying.  Perhaps it’s because I know firsthand planes don’t always make it home (please see my running story). I’m amazed how people fly every week for work and return safely.  They aren’t afraid, so I shouldn’t be either.  But still, it is a true test of my faith to get on an airplane and believe I will return.

This past weekend I was blessed to visit our sweet granddaughter and flying was the only way to make it happen. A 6 a.m. flight necessitated a 3:45 a.m. departure from our home, so I didn’t have my TEA time with Jesus until I was on board the plane.

There in my Bible reading for the day were these verses from Psalm 139:9-10, “If I take the wings of the morning…” Here I was flying into the sunrise, high above the earth. What more could this verse mean?  How did the author write such a perfect Psalm for me centuries before the invention of the airplane?  God’s Word is amazing!  And so I claimed His promise to hold me with His right hand.

Just a month ago I claimed these same verses for our oldest son flying to Europe as a missionary. Seven years ago I wrote our daughter’s name by these verses as she flew to Guam as an exchange student.  Parents everywhere, you can pray these verses for your children.  Especially pray Psalm 139:7-8 for your prodigals. God is holding them, too!

On my return flight home from our precious granddaughter, there was late afternoon turbulence.  It was all I could do to resist gripping the arm of the stranger next to me as the plane jostled and vibrated the passengers.  Instead, I gripped the armrest and prayed the verses again, “If I take the wings of the (evening)…Your right hand shall hold me!”  And He did!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, Jesus is holding you.  Wherever you are, in His will, out of His will, on the land or in the air or by the sea, He is with you to lead and hold you.  Underline these verses in your Bible and take comfort in His promises today.

You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5 (NKJV)

…Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights! Psalm 148:1 (NKJV)

And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

Hymn by Michael Joncas

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.