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school-house-images-school-houseTeach me Your way, O Lord... Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)

Sending a little prayer idea as you begin your new school year. Why not read a Psalm each day or week with your children, praying together for God’s protection and blessings, that you will shine as lights for Jesus in this world.

Today’s TEA CUPP: You can also read a Psalm during your own quiet time and pray for your children and their friends.  Today I have Psalm 116 for you, divided up into the TEA CUPP.

T for Thanks: 

I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:17 (NKJV)

E for Exalt:

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
Psalm 116:5 (NKJV)

A for Admit:

I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:13
(NKJV)

C for Call:

I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.
Psalm 116:18 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling. Psalm 116:8 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living. Psalm 116:9 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions:
I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2 (NKJV)

God’s blessings to all children and parents and teachers out there!

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


runners2O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

What do runners drink? Usually we think of ice cold water, Gatorade and sports drinks.  Those all refresh me after a long run down the highway.  But what do I like to drink even before a morning run?  I enjoy a TEA CUPP with the Champion of champions, Jesus.

Tea is certainly coming into vogue as the new sports beverage, but the brand I want to share with you is brewed with Living Water, straight from God’s Word. Here’s how it works: Before you do your stretches and head out the door, sit down with your Bible and a cup of tea.  Read a selection, letting the Lord speak first. Then start praying, using Bible verses as conversation starters.

For example, to give God Thanks for your health or recent victory or other blessings in your life, recite 1 Corinthians 15:57 and tell Him for what you are thankful.  Even if you’ve never had a victory, Jesus gives us all the victory over sin and death, because He conquered those when He died and rose again.  Then continue your prayers with Psalm 20:5 to Exalt the Lord and tell Him how great He is. Follow this with Hebrews 12:1-2, asking Jesus to help you Admit and lay aside every sin.

Now you’ve finished your TEA and are ready for the CUPP.  I’ve listed more suggested verses below for talking to Jesus about your Call, Understanding your story, claiming God’s Promises, and pouring out your heart with Petitions for others. As you finish your prayers and tie your shoes, you’ll find the conversation continues as you and Jesus head out for a run together.

 T for Thanks: 

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

E for Exalt:

 We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
Psalm 20:5 (NKJV)

A for Admit:

let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus...Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

C for Call:

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 (NIV)

P is for Promises:

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions:

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Psalm 25:4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Sip this Runner’s TEA CUPP today, before heading out on your path.  Use it as a conversation starter as you talk to the Lord. When you read your Bible, underline more verses you’d like to pray tomorrow.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 (NKJV)

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

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.


zucchini cupcakesIt’s that time of year again…zucchini time!  Our vines are just bursting with these versatile veggies.  Already we’ve had them on the grill and baked in cupcakes.  To keep ahead of their production, we’ll have to shred or slice and freeze them, and share with all the neighbors.  Please holler if you you want any!  If you happen to have an abundance at your house, you will certainly want to try this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake (gluten-free and dairy-free).  It’s one of our favorites.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Mama Flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups zucchini, coarsely shredded (1 medium zucchini)

Putting it together:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin pans with paper, or grease and flour 3 round cake pans.

Mix together dry ingredients:  Gluten-free flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, apple sauce and sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla to stand mixer, mixing well.
Add the dry ingredients and shredded zucchini to the stand mixer.  Mix 1 minute or until combined.

Portion batter into prepared pans.  Bake 35 minutes for cupcakes or 1 hour for cakes.  Baking time depends on moistness of zucchini.  Cool on wire racks and frost with your favorite chocolate frosting (we like ganache made with melted dairy-free chocolate chips and a bit of coconut milk).  Enjoy your zucchini season!

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

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


tea cup for bookmark - no pink!-blankMy Tea Cupp Prayers is all about using God’s Word as a conversation starter as you sit down with Jesus for a cup of tea and prayer.  My favorite verses come from the Psalms, but there are great verses throughout the Bible which I also love.  Jeremiah offers some of the most heart-felt verses.

If we think we are going through tough times, we should look at Jeremiah. According to John MacArthur in his study Bible (page 1059), “Jeremiah has been known as the ‘weeping prophet,’  living a life of conflict because of his predictions of judgment by the invading Babylonians.  He was threatened, tried for his life, put in stocks, forced to flee from Jehoiakim, publicly humiliated by a false prophet, and thrown into a pit.”

Here is a fellow who knew pain and suffering, yet had a dedication to God’s calling on his life.  This is a prophet we can trust with words for talking with God.  And so I picked out a few verses for you today.  Perhaps you will discover even more as you read Jeremiah.  Have a blessed TEA TIME with Jeremiah and Jesus!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Try these verses from Jeremiah as conversation starters for your prayer time today.

 T for Thanks: 

Praise the Lord of hosts,
For the Lord is good,
For His mercy endures forever. Jeremiah 33:11 (NKJV)

E for Exalt:

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV)

A for Admit:

For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.  Jeremiah 31:34 (NKJV)

C for Call:

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls…”  Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you... Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions:

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

Extra verses for wives to pray for their husbands:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)

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

Quote from The MacArthur Study Bible, 1997, Word Publishing, Thomas Nelson, Inc.


Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)

fish2

We have some fishing fun for you today! Since it is hot and summer time, your family may be sipping lemonade, orange juice and other beverages that come in a carton. How about turning those cartons into fishing fun for the kids?

fish6

Joel and I were sitting by his wading pool one hot July day, when we came up with this idea.  We cut fish shapes from a lemonade carton, since the coating on the carton protects the fish in the wading pool.

fish1

Then we fastened safety pins to the mouths of the fish.

fish9

Finally, we tossed the fish in the wading pool.  Joel fished them out with his magnetic fishing pole.

fish3

If you don’t have a fishing pole, you could attach a magnet from your fridge to a string on a stick.

fish7

While we were making our fish, we talked about how Jesus liked to go fishing.  In fact, many of Jesus’ friends were fishermen.  Sometimes Jesus’ friends had trouble catching fish and Jesus would tell them to “throw the net on the other side of the boat.” Then they would catch so many fish the net would almost break.  How did Jesus know there were so many fish on the other side?

fish4

Today’s TEA CUPP for homeschool moms:  Stay cool, recycle, have fun fishing, talk about Jesus. 

fish5

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  Deuteronomy 6:7 (NKJV)

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

 


chickpea saladWhen the thermometer is in the 90’s and creeping to 100, you want to avoid the oven and stove at dinner.  Here is a tasty and nutritious summer salad sure to please!

Our son Jacob is into eating healthy, so I googled chickpea heathy facts for this recipe.  You will be happy to know that according to The World’s Healthiest Foods,
“Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate and copper, as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, protein, iron, and zinc.” Mix those nutrients with some tasty veggies and seasonings, and you have a fresh, delicious dinner!

I have so many people to thank for this recipe!  Thank you to FISHLOVE who posted the original recipe on allrecipes.com.  Thank you to my co-Grandma Dana who made this for our daughter Kallie on the birth of our granddaughter Kennedy.  And thank you to my friend Elsbeth who loved it when I made it for her when her new baby Eli was born.  Try this for your next supper on a hot day…

Ingredients:
2 (19 oz) cans garbonzo beans drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 mini red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/3 cup mayo or dairy-free yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry dill weed
salt and pepper
fresh spinach leaves or pocket bread

Putting it together:
Put chickpeas (garbonzo beans) in a bowl and mash slightly with a fork.  Add veggies, mayo, lemon juice and seasonings. Cover and chill in frig until ready to eat. Serve in pita pocket bread or on a bed of fresh spinach (my gluten-free favorite), with a side of fresh fruit and a tall glass of lemonade or ice tea.  Your summer evening is set!

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 (NKJV)

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


easter_cross_light_2012_c1My Dear Loved One,

You are my Daddy, my brother, my cousin, my aunt, my niece, my landlord, my milkman, my son’s coach, my son’s college roommate, my student, my neighbor, my grocery store checker, my friend’s child, my high school chum, my employer, my friend.

You have a reservation in heaven.  I made it for you every week in my prayers. Others have been calling in reservations for you, too.  To confirm you are on the list in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27), please accept Jesus (read on).

It will be such a great time!  The streets are paved with gold in this beautiful city. There is a river flowing from the throne of God and a tree that bears a different fruit every month (Revelation 22:1-2).  And we will never have tears again, for there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). 

How did I hear about this ultimate destination?  In the best travel brochure of all, the Bible.  Jesus told me to not be troubled, to believe in Him and God. He said, “for in My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  (John 14:1-4)

My dear loved one, I asked Jesus to prepare a place for you, too.  My prayer above all other prayers is for you to know Jesus. Why? Because I want you to be in heaven for eternity, not in hell where there really is fire (Revelation 20:15).  I want you to enjoy Jesus’ love and forgiveness on earth, and have His forever joy and peace in heaven.

I want you to know the One who delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the Land of the living (Psalm 116:8-9). So many times I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

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)! Now my citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).

The neat thing is when you come near to God He will come near to you (James 4:8). I want you to know that through Jesus Christ the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you (Acts 13:38).  And when you receive Him and believe in His Name, He gives you the right to be children of God (John 1:12).

God promises that whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21).  My dear loved one, please ACCEPT JESUS and confirm your reservation today. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

And when that day comes when Jesus calls you home, I know you will go out with joy and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12). When you reach heaven, you will enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4) and I will be so thankful to God that you confirmed your reservation. I love you, my dear loved one! And Jesus loves you most of all!

Today’s Tea Cupp:  But I pray to you, Lord,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation (Psalm 69:13)

And since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. (Hebrews 12:28)

Scripture is taken from

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

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

 


my best friend JesusNo longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  John 15:15 (NKJV)

My favorite time of the day is the first hour of the morning when I have TEA with my Best Friend.  We sit together on the sofa, I read His Word in the Bible, and then I use His Word for a conversation starter, as I talk with Jesus.  This is my quiet time. This is my prayer time. This is my tea time with my Best Friend. 

Jesus tells us in the book of John that we are His friends.  In John 15:15 He says, “I have called you friends.” Isn’t that great news! Doesn’t that touch your heart? The Creator of the universe and Savior of your soul is your Friend.  Jesus is always beside us, just waiting for us to chat with Him.

How might your conversation with Jesus go?  There are so many stories in the Gospels you can use, from Peter to the woman at the well.  Or, perhaps you would like this dialogue Jesus had with a blind man…

Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”  Luke 18:39-42 (NKJV)

One morning I shared the blind man’s request with Jesus.  I said, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

And Jesus replied, “Jenny, what do you want me to do for you?”

I answered, “Lord, may I receive Your healing, and publish My Tea Cupp Prayers, and fulfill Your call.  And may all on my prayer list love You.”

And Jesus answered, “Receive your good health, Your faith has made you well.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Have TEA with your Best Friend today!  Call to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Hear Jesus ask you, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And pour out your heart to Him.

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

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

 


kidney bean burgersOne of the yummiest and easiest burgers I’ve made recently, this kidney bean burger recipe is a keeper!  It starts with canned kidney beans, cutting the cook time of other recipes.  Kidney beans have a natural sweetness, are packed with protein, and their red color is reminiscent of real burgers on the grill.  Keep this recipe handy for your Memorial Day weekend and summer cookouts!

Ingredients:

1 cup dairy-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 slices gluten-free bread, toasted and cubed
1/2 cup green onion, chopped (the rest of your bunch)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
dash pepper
2 eggs, beaten
olive oil

Combine the yogurt, green onions, oregano and salt in a small bowl.  Cover and chill in frig.

In a stand mixer, mash the kidney beans.  Add the bread crumbs, green onion, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper, and eggs.  Mix well, until it is a good paste-like consistency.

Prepare a grill mat by coating with olive oil. Spoon the burger mixture into 8 patties on the grill mat.  Grill approximately 8 minutes per side.  Serve kidney bean burgers topped with the yogurt sauce and your favorite burger toppings.   With sides of veggies, chips and watermelon, you are set for a summer cookout!

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  John 8:36 (NKJV)

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


pathway readersTeach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.  Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)

Which books do I still keep on my shelf after 20 years of homeschooling?  Please let me share them with you!

Today let’s look at our reading books.  I’m so thankful God started us on these readers with our first child, because they are the best!  I’ve tried other books over the years, and nothing compares with these Pathway Readers.  The books are for grades 1-8, and my only wish is that they had four more books to go through 12th grade!

From First Steps to Our Heritage, you will read stories about Amish families, like Peter and Rachel’s.  The black and white illustrations never show the people, just the scenery and animals.  But that doesn’t bother our children.  It lets them imagine what the characters look like.  Each story is a lesson in character building, as we read about boys and girls who try to do their chores and lessons and be good, just as we are trying to do at our house.  As we reach the upper grade books, we read more stories from history, some of the best collections I’ve seen.

The highlight of my morning is sitting on the sofa with my children, reading these books.  We especially enjoy taking turns reading pages.  This makes it easier for a slower reader.  The youngest play toys on the floor at our feet, enjoying the stories as well.  More than once a child has exclaimed, “I remember this story!”  when it came his year to read it in the book.  He really was listening when playing at our feet!

A special note, you can get the complete set of Pathway Readers right now from Timberdoodle.com for only $90.  That will be money well-spent.Millers

Another set of books we truly love are The Miller books by Mildred A. Martin.  These titles include Storytime and the Millers, School Days and the Millers, Wisdom and the Millers, Prudence and the Millers, Growing with the Millers, and Missionary Stories with the Millers.  The Miller family stories will stick with you and your children, long after the day is over.  I remember crying through many of the Missionary Stories, asking the kids to finish reading for me. Your children get to learn life lessons right along with the Miller children, as their parents bring them up in the Lord.

The entire set of Miller books is available from Milestonebooks.com right now for only $41.50.  Another great investment for your home school!

With Pathway Readers and Miller books as the core of your reading program, you won’t need much else.  However, it is always fun to sit as a family each evening, enjoying a classic read-aloud. So, next time I will share our favorite series and classics that are still on our bookshelf after 20 years of home school.

Until then, God bless your home school!

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