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Archive for the ‘Thanks’ category

With Thanksgiving here, it is a good time to re-run this favorite family activity.  It keeps us thankful all the way to Christmas…

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy
endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy
endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy
endures forever. Psalm 136:1-3  (NKJV)

Here is a project you can do with your family to carry you from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  First, count the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas on your calendar. This year it is 29 days.  Next, cut out 29 strips of colored paper, approximately 1 inch by 6 inches.  Grab your Bible, the paper strips, some markers, and a stapler, and gather the family around your kitchen table.

  • Read a Psalm of Thanksgiving such as Psalm 136.
  • Talk about things for which you are thankful.
  • Divide the strips of paper between all family members.
  • Everyone can write things they are thankful for on each strip with the markers.
  • When everyone is finished, mix up the paper strips.  Curl one strip into a circle and staple it.  Run another strip through the first circle and staple it to itself.  Continue stapling strips until you have a long chain of circles.
  • Hold the chain around the table and let family members read the items together as you thank Jesus.
  • Hang the chain on a nail in the kitchen so you can see how many days until Christmas.
  • Each morning at breakfast, let one person tear off the bottom link of the chain. Say a prayer of THANKS again for whatever is listed on that slip of paper.
  • Each day the chain will get shorter until it’s Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to your family!

In Christ’s Love, Jennifer Grace

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

sandwichHear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.  Psalm 28:2 (NKJV)

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!  Psalm 28:6 (NKJV)

Lately I’ve been having sandwiches with my TEA.  I was inspired a few years ago by Sybil MacBeth’s book, Praying in Color.  I’ve always liked to journal my prayers to keep me focused while praying.  Sybil taught me that I could draw pictures, too.  I was really excited when God gave me these sandwich verses!

One Saturday when I was pouring out my petitions, I wrote Psalm 28:2 at the top of my prayer journal, asking God to hear my prayers. I drew a piece of bread around the verse.  Then again at the bottom of the page, I wrote Psalm 28:6 inside another slice of bread, rejoicing that He hears my prayers.  Between these two verses I listed all the people and circumstances on my heart that day.  And just like squirting on some mustard, I added Psalm 28:9 for flavoring along the side.  It was really fun to have TEA and a sandwich with JESUS!

Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever. Psalm 28:9 (NKJV)

A few days later, God showed me some THANKSGIVING verses to use for another sandwich.  The top slice of bread held Psalm 107:1 and the bottom slice was Psalm 107:8.  Inside the sandwich were all the people and blessings for which I am thankful.  I served that sandwich to Jesus during my TEA time that day.  I hope He enjoyed it!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I’d like to show you pictures of my sandwiches, but the names are all so personal and dear to my heart.  You will just have to draw your own sandwiches in your prayer journal!  Use these verses to get you started…

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! 
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!  Psalm 107:8 (NKJV)

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

 

 

SheepAt midnight I will rise to give thanks to You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.  Psalm 119:62 NKJV

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night?  Perhaps you went right to sleep when your head hit the pillow, but you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night?

That happens to me often, especially when our baby cries.  At first I am too sleepy to get out of bed, but once up, I’m wide awake and thinking about so many things.  How can I get back to sleep?

Long ago it was suggested that people imagine sheep, counting them leaping over a fence.  Such an activity would seem to put a person back to sleep, but our minds tend to wander, just as sheep stray away.

Perhaps God has us awake in the middle of the night for another reason:  To Pray!  Somewhere in the world is a friend who needs our prayers.  When I lie awake at night, I pray for the names on my prayer list that God brings to mind.  It’s okay that I may never know how these prayers have blessed others.

But this verse above from Psalm 119 gives me another idea for midnight prayers.  How about using these dark hours as an opportunity to give thanks to Jesus for His many blessings?  Instead of counting sheep by number, I can name each sheep as a blessing:  Family, food, home, work, friends, etc.  As the sheep jump the fence in my imagination, I lift up prayers of thanks to God for each blessing.  Before I’ve hit the 10th blessing, I am often fast asleep.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  The next time you are wide awake at night, I hope you’ll try this, too.  Count your blessings instead of counting sheep.

Clip Art Illustration of a Numbered Sheep Jumping Over a FenceMy eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.  Psalm 119:148 NKJV

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

img_4316I first ran this devotion 3 years ago (March 26, 2010) when our son Jacob broke his wrist snowboarding.  Now I share this for Kevin who broke his wrist skiing last week.   I’m thankful for the happy smile that comes with the cast :-).

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)

“Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I’ve been working on this verse a great deal this past year, praying thoughout the day.  When God brings someone to mind, I pray for that person.  But the “thanks” part can be a challenge.  I like how it says “IN” everything give thanks not “FOR” everything.

Last week our son was skiing and had a bad accident.  I don’t need to be thankful FOR his accident.  But I can be thankful even IN this situation for so many blessings…

Thank You, Jesus, that my son is alive.
Thank You, Jesus, for no neck injury.
Thank You, Jesus, for the kindness of the ski patrol first aid.
Thank You, Jesus, that we were there with him to take him to the hospital.
Thank You, Jesus, for helping Kevin through the pain on the way to the hospital.
Thank You, Jesus, for the doctors and nurses who took care of Kevin there.
Thank You, Jesus, for only a broken wrist and some bruises, it could have been so much worse.
Thank You, Jesus, for all the prayers of friends that You heard and continue to hear.
Thank You, my Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Are you having a challenging circumstance today?  You don’t have to be thankful FOR the trial, but you can be thankful IN it.  What are you thankful for, even in your troubles?  Tell Jesus during your TEA CUPP Prayers today.

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

   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.   James 1:17 (NKJV)

Every day we thank the Lord for our sweet blessing, Joel Kent.  And today he celebrates his first birthday!  Oh, the joy this precious gift brings to our family!

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing our prayers for a baby and sending us little Joel. We love him so much!  Happy Birthday, Joel Kent!

If you missed it last year, here are some quick links to the story of our miracle baby…

http://www.myteacuppprayers.org/2011/11/my-sweet-baby-blessing-at-45/

http://www.myteacuppprayers.org/2011/11/worth-every-drop-of-blood/

http://www.myteacuppprayers.org/2012/06/why-joel/

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

 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Praying God’s Word.

My favorite verse to share our THANKS with the Lord today:

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 (NKJV)

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

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Praying God’s Word.

Here’s another verse to help us share our THANKS with the Lord today:

I will give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness;
   I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.  Psalm 7:17 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Praying God’s Word.

Here’s another verse to help us share our THANKS with the Lord today:

Now therefore, our God,
      We thank You
      And praise Your glorious name.  1 Chronicles 29:13 (NKJV)

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

 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Praying God’s Word.

Here’s another verse to help us share our THANKS with the Lord today:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
      Call upon His name;
      Make known His deeds among the peoples!  1 Chronicles 16:8 (NKJV)

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

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Praying God’s Word.

Here’s another verse to help us share our THANKS with the Lord today:

 “We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty,
   the One who is and who was,
because You have taken Your great power
   and have begun to reign.”  Revelation 11:17 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica