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come to the waterJesus 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)

 Today I want to re-run this beautiful hymn for you. In this mud-slinging election year, and every day of every year, what our hearts and souls truly long for is the pure water of Jesus Christ. If you have access to Youtube, you can click on the link below, or just read the lyrics.  The chorus of this hymn, sums up God’s invitation to you…“Come to the water.”

Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat… Isaiah 55:1 (NKJV)

That’s what My TEA CUPP Prayers are all about…come to the Water each day and drink deeply of the CUPP Jesus gives you.  Stand by His side in prayer. He won’t deny you.  He’ll wipe away your tears and comfort you and carry you to the next day.

Come to the Waters

You said You’d come and share all my sorrows,
You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”

Your goodness so great I can’t understand,
And, dear Lord, I know that all this was planned;
I know You’re here now, and always will be,
Your love loosed my chains and in You I’m free;
But Jesus, why me?

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul,
I know that without God I’d never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores;
Take me, I’m Yours.

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.” 
(Hymn, author unknown)

TODAY’S TEA CUPP:  Accept Jesus’ call and invitation to come.  Drink deeply of the Living Water by reading His Word, the Bible.  Commit to a regular prayer TEA time with Jesus each day.

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”  John 4:15 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



25th Anniversary Trip to Grand Tetons…he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 1 Kings 4:33 (NJKV)

...he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Psalm 32:10 (NKJV)

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV)

God gave me the best man in the world to be my husband. Last night my husband Kent turned in his graduate school project. This was the culmination of seven years of grad school.  The moment was unglamorous, 11 p.m. at the kitchen table where he had spent so many late nights on the laptop, polishing the final copy.  It’s a children’s book about insects in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, and our prayer is that you will soon find it in the bookstores there.  Now it’s in the hands of the professors, and we couldn’t be more proud and thankful.

Kent could have finished grad school years ago if it weren’t for taking care of us! This morning as Kent was vacuuming the house for me (yes!), like he does almost every week (yes, it’s true!), my heart just beamed with gratitude and love. Then he set out for work to provide for us, so we can do homeschool.  When he gets home he will play with the boys, eat my crazy cooking, and give Joel his bath.  And he gets up and does it all again the next day, too.

Each morning when he wakes up, Kent spends an hour reading his Bible and praying in the rocking chair.  Then he makes our bed, while I’m still finishing my quiet time.  He gets dressed and heads outside to see what chores need doing.  Tuesday the trash goes to the curb, Buster the rabbit might need water, leaves need blowing off the sidewalk, Joel wants to check the garden, etc.  Kent comes in for breakfast and reads a devotion from Our Daily Bread to the family.  Then it’s off to work to make some money to feed us.

He never plays golf, goes hunting, or watches sports on TV.  Not that those are bad things, just that they would take time away from our family.  He’s always right here with us when we need him, driving us to the doctor, taking pets to the vet, running to the grocery store, cutting wooden figures for Sunday school, chopping firewood, reading stories, helping with science experiments, building a bench for our daughter…he’s always doing something for us.25th Anniversary Trip to Grand Tetons

So, today I want to give tribute to the man I love, the man God gave me to be my husband over 27 years ago.  Thank you, Jesus, for my husband! I love you, Kent!  You are a wonderful husband and Daddy and Grandpa!  Keep up the great work! xoxoxoxox I thank my God upon every remembrance of you!  (Philippians 1:3).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Today I encourage all my married TEA CUPP lady friends to thank the Lord for your husbands and pray for them.  There are so many great verses to pray, here are just a few…

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.  Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;

The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:1-3 (NKJV)

May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 115:14-15 (NKJV)

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (NKJV)

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

My Tea Cupp PrayersNow thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NKJV)

Have you ever read your Bible and got stuck on just a few verses?  Those verses jump out at you as something God has for you today.  You underline them,  you ponder them, you ask, “God what’s this all about?”  Jesus must really enjoy when He gets our attention as we dig into His Word.

I love it when the verses I underline have all the parts for My TEA CUPP Prayers.  The verse above from 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 is like that.  First I noticed the “thanks”  and put a “T” next to it in my Bible.  Then I realized God was calling me to smell good and put a “C” for calling next to “fragrance of Christ.”   As I kept digging, soon all the parts of My TEA CUPP Prayers were there.  And so I share with you today, TEA in TWO VERSES:

T for Thanks: 

Now thanks be to God who…

(Dear Jesus, thank You for Your many blessings…)

E for Exalt:

 …the fragrance of His knowledge in every place…

(Father, be glorified in every place I go today…)

A for Admit:

 …and among those who are perishing…

(Jesus, forgive my sins and save all who are perishing…)

C for Call:

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ…

(Dear Lord, please help me smell good to You and to all I meet today…)

U is for Understanding our story:

…and through us diffuses…

(Jesus, this is my story, You are using me to spread Your fragrance to others.  Thank you for letting me help You!)

P is for Promises:

 …always leads us in triumph in Christ…

(Oh, Lord, I claim your promise for triumph and victory through Jesus Christ…)

P is for Petitions:

…among those who are being saved.

(Now Jesus I lift up to you all the saints, all my family, all on my prayer list…)

In Jesus’ precious Name I pray, Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Won’t you join Jesus today for TEA with TWO VERSES?  May the aroma of your TEA time stay with you all day.

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

smile-god-loves-you-car-magnetFor the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. John 16:27 (NKJV)

Long before there were Emoji with every face and feeling, there were simple yellow smiley faces with four words, “Smile, God loves you!”

Do you remember seeing these on bumper stickers and binders?  They always brought a smile to my face and the thought, “That’s nice.”

But one day when I was reading the book of John, it hit me.  John 16:27 proclaims that the Father Himself (God) loves me, because I believe in Jesus.  All because I love Jesus and believe He came from God, God loves me!  Even if I mess up today and all my friends send me frowny emojis, God loves me.  He will never stop loving me.  He loves me forever into eternal life in heaven, because I love Jesus and believe He came from God.  What a wonderful promise.

The beauty of His promise is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  Jesus died for all our sins before we were even born, or knew Him, or believed in Him. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13).  That is an amazing love I hold dear in my heart forever.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, God’s promises are for you. Believe in His Son Jesus and love Him with all your heart.  Tell Him you love Him today! Smile, God loves you!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)


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

agardenminestronesoupYes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.  Psalm 85:12 (NKJV)

Today is the first day of fall, and we are still bringing in veggies from our garden.  What a fun summer we had watching it grow, setting out sprinklers on super-hot days, and bending over to pull weeds (well, we ignored many of them!).  Now we are enjoying the fruits of our labors and trying to find creative ways to incorporate all these veggies into our meals. Thank you, Jesus, for our garden!

Here is one of our favorite soups which uses at least seven ingredients from our garden. The original recipe came from The first Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (1977).  I modified her recipe to fit our garden and taste buds.  Garden minestrone soup doesn’t take long to prepare.  Enjoy this on a crisp fall day!

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 to 2  cups celery, chopped (I like extra)
1 to 2 cups carrots, circles or half-circles
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 to 2 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
3 1/2 cups water
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup dry gluten-free pasta
Fresh parsley

Putting it Together:
In a big soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until soft, but not brown.  Add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Add pepper, oregano, and basil.  Cover and cook over low heat 5-8 minutes while you prepare more veggies.  Add zucchini, green pepper, tomato juice, water, and garbanzo beans.  Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Add tomatoes and 1 more teaspoon salt.  Now turn up heat and bring soup to a boil. Add the gluten-free pasta and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Serve topped with fresh parsley from your garden.  Hmm, hmm, taste those blessings!

While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.  Genesis 8:22


Little Joel heads out two or three times a day to harvest garden veggies.

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


keyJesus 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)

If you’re like me, you have a ring of keys…one key for the house, one for the car, one for the post office box, etc.  We make sure we have our keys wherever we go, and we get very distressed if we can’t find them!

Well, after driving a minivan with oil leaks and miles to indicate driving around the equator 10 times, our family had to look for a different vehicle.  My husband found a used minivan one state away.  So for Labor Day weekend, we packed up the camping supplies and headed that way to take a look.

The car salesman located the vehicle for us and pulled it around so we could test drive it.  The van was already running when we climbed in and buckled our seatbelts.  So weren’t we surprised when we drove down the road and noticed there was no key!  How could it run with no key?!  A funny light was also blinking on the dashboard.

When we returned to the car shop, the salesman confessed he had forgotten to take the key fob out of his pocket.  The light on the dashboard was to warn us not to drive away without the fob.  If we had turned off the car, we wouldn’t have been able to turn it on again.

This keyless entry is a concept brand new to our old vehicle minds.  There have always been keys.  It made me wonder how other events would be viewed in a keyless society.  Will people think they can get into heaven without the key?  If someone else opens heaven’s door, can we just walk in?  If our friend has the fob in his pocket, can we get in with her?

Oh, my Tea Cupp friend, I want to be sure you have the key to heaven.  Jesus is the Key.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).  And to all who receive Jesus, to those who believe in His Name, He gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  If you have the Key to heaven, share it with a friend.  If you need the Key to heaven, pray to Jesus right now.  Welcome to God’s family!

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

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

amazing2Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
Psalm 36:5-6 (NKJV)

“Mommy look there! Daddy look here!” Joel exclaimed while walking the West Thumb boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park.  His four-and-a-half-year old hands pointed from one side to another at mud pots, fumaroles, geysers, and hot springs.  A tourist from perhaps India was walking toward us.  Upon hearing Joel he smiled and remarked, “Isn’t it amazing?”

“Yes!” I replied, returning his smile, wanting to say so much more, wanting to say, “Isn’t He amazing!  Isn’t God who made all this amazing!”  He put all these cool things to see in our own backyard.  People come from all over the world to witness His creativity and majesty.  (By the way, if you need tips on visiting Yellowstone, the West Thumb area has all the features, and from there it is just a short drive to the peaceful and beautiful Grand Tetons).amazing1

This awesome scenery wasn’t the only time we saw God working on our annual Labor Day weekend camping trip. The very first night we were lost on a dirt road, looking for a forest service campground.  The road was under construction, so all signs marking the campground had been removed.  My husband said a quick prayer to Jesus for help.  Before long we came upon an old car parked sideways in the road we had already traveled.  We asked if they knew the way to the campground. The two ladies beckoned, “Follow us!”

As we tailed their vehicle, I noticed the Florida license plates and wondered allowed, “Why are we following two ladies from Florida to find a campground in Wyoming?”  It was just like the old TV show Touched by An Angel, when the ladies took a turn and said, “Here you are.”  And then they were gone.

A day or two later we were at Colter Bay Campground in the Grand Tetons.  Our campsite was just across the road from the restrooms.  I was setting out food at our picnic table and little Joel was returning from the restroom with his Daddy. Joel ran ahead to greet me when just at that moment a car came along the road, stopping at a water hydrant.  It was God’s angels again who halted that car before it could hit our Joel.

amazing4Yes, God is amazing! We were touched by three angels, enjoyed His beautiful creation, had great family time making s’mores around the campfire, and made it safely home.  Thank you, Jesus!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Where do you see God’s amazing work in your life?  Exalt Jesus today with the Psalms.

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Psalm 8:1 (NKJV)

The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted. Psalm 18:46 (NKJV)

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)


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


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

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.

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.