Turn and Live

…“Therefore turn and live!”  Ezekiel 18:32 (NKJV)

One of the toughest parts of My TEA CUPP Prayers might be the letter “A” for Admitting our sins.  It can be hard to admit when we’ve done something wrong, said the wrong words, done the wrong thing, broken one of God’s commandments, and fallen short of the glory of God.  It can be especially hard to even admit we need forgiveness, but we do.  For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  We’re all in need of the forgiveness that only Jesus can provide.

Yet there is Good News! Though admitting our sins is tough, we are cleansed, our burden is lifted, and we have joy and peace again.  Jesus bore our sins for us on the cross at Calvary so long ago.  When we believe in Him, He washes away all our sins and makes us His child.  Isn’t that Good News?!  So, today, if you’ve been skipping this part of your TEA time with Jesus, I urge you to turn and live!

Turn from your sins, admit them to Jesus, repent and live a new life, walking with Jesus. This sin stuff is not new, it’s as old as Adam and Eve and the serpent.  God’s people, the Israelites, fell into it often. God’s Old Testament prophets warned the people, as did Ezekiel:

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezekiel 18:30-32 (NKJV)

Are you ready to turn and live?  How can you do it?  James tells us so well in his New Testament book.  James says…

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:7-10 (NKJV)

Did you hear James’ points? 1) Submit to God. 2) Resist the devil. 3) Draw near to God (having TEA with Jesus each day is a great way to do this!). 4) Cleanse and purify your heart (by admitting your sins, weeping, and asking Jesus’ forgiveness). 5) Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.

And did you see Jame’s promises?  1) The devil will flee from you. 2) God will draw near to you. 3) And God will lift you up!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Turn and Live!  Dearest TEA CUPP Friend, whether you are a new believer, old believer, or a seeker, there is always something to admit to Jesus.  Give Jesus that last sin you’ve been hanging onto, let Him wash it away and give you a new clean heart.  Turn and Live!

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 I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”  Ezekiel 18:32 (NKJV)

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

Someone is Praying for You!

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)

Someone is praying for you, my friend!  Someone is praying for you!  I promise you that right now, someone is really and truly praying for you.

I know what you are thinking, “Not me, why would anyone pray for me? You are mistaken.”  But I promise you, it is true, someone is truly praying for you.

Now, I can’t tell you all the people who are praying for you, because that is a surprise.  It could be an aunt, a grandpa, a grandchild, a neighbor, a person at the grocery store, or someone who goes by your house everyday.  You could be totally oblivious to these prayers as Job’s first children were (Job 1:5), but the prayers are still happening. And I can tell you Two who are praying for you:

1) Jesus is praying for you!  Can you believe it?  It is true!  Romans 8:34 promises us that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.

It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34 (NKJV)

Wow, isn’t that something?! Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, is praying for you!  How does that make you feel?  This question was asked at a Bible study I attend and the ladies had some wonderful answers:  “Mind-boggling, blessed, He cares that much for me, nothing is impossible, He knows what I need before I ask, He hears us, we are just specks in eternity, specks in the universe, yet He hears us!”  And how does it make me feel?  I wrote that day, “O Jesus, thank You!  To think I sit having TEA with You every morning and You take my requests to the Father!  Thank You, dearest Jesus!”

2) Who else is praying for you?  The Holy Spirit is praying for you!  Even if we mess up our prayers and get it all wrong, the Holy Spirit is there, translating what our hearts really meant to the Father.  Isn’t that good news?!  You don’t have to pray just the “right” prayer.  The Holy Spirit will take care of making it “just right” for God.  The Spirit is praying for you!

 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

A recent example of this for me was when my Daddy was dying.  I definitely didn’t have it all together as my voice cracked in tears.  I was trying to pray the Lord’s Prayer over the phone with Daddy, as my sister held the phone to his ear.  Somewhere around “debtors” or “temptations” I messed up, not remembering which version I was on…yet I know the Holy Spirit interceded at that very moment and heard our prayers and took my dear Daddy to heaven.  For as soon as we ended the call, my sister texted, “He’s gone.”  And there I sat on the sofa between my two boys, crying tears of sadness and joy, that God let us all be together in my Daddy’s final moments.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both praying for you, taking your requests to the Father.  Rest in this amazing promise today!  Then pray with confidence, knowing God is on your side. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 (NKJV)

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

Be One of the Faithful

 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God. Ezekiel 14:14 (NKJV)

Sometimes the books of the Old Testament prophets can be long and difficult to read, with much prophecy and destruction, because God’s people kept turning away from Him.  But there are still good verses tucked in there to exhort and encourage us in our walk with God.

The verse above from Ezekiel 14:14 was one of these that caught my eye.  When we read, “Noah, Daniel and Job,”  we feel connected, since most of us have heard their stories: Noah’s Arc, Daniel and the Lions, The Patience of Job.  The following verses remind us of each one.

…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9 (NKJV)

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel 6:10 (NKJV)

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1 (NKJV)

A just man who walked with God, a man of prayer, a blameless and upright man…These are all great Bible heroes, strong in their faith.  So, what does Ezekiel 14:14 tell us?  It says that even if those three faithful men were there, they would only save themselves and no one else from God’s impending destruction.

What does this mean for us?  John McCarthur says in his notes on Ezekiel 14:14, “one man’s righteousness is no protection for another.” (MacArthur, 1997) We can’t take comfort that we live in a country founded under God, or that our neighbor attends church, or that our grandmother prayed for us.  We must make the decision for ourselves, confess Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raise Him from the dead, and we will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Even if we hangout with our pastor’s family or Bible study leader, though these are very good things to do, we won’t be delivered.  We must “hang out” with the King of kings, the Savior of our souls, God’s only Son who gave His life for our sins on the Cross, pouring out His blood to wash us clean.  We must be friends with Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Be friends with Jesus.  Have TEA with Him each day, reading His Word, the Bible, pouring out your heart to Him in prayer.  As you begin this new year, ask God to help you walk with Him each day as did Noah, Daniel, Job, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Ruth, and so many others Bible heroes.

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:23-24 (NKJV)

MacArthur, J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. (p. 1168)

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

Many thanks to my Discipleland Sunday school curriculum for the Bible hero pictures I enjoy each week in our classroom!

Moan Noisily

Attend to me, and hear me;
I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily
Psalm 55:2 (NKJV)

We’ve all heard the child moaning noisily, from the line at the grocery store to our own kitchen. Waaaaaaaaaah-wooooooooo-weeeeee-waaaaaah!  Kids are experts at the art of moaning, whether it is warranted or not.

Did you know it’s okay for us to moan noisily, too?  Sure thing! Doesn’t Jesus tell us to come to the Father as a child?

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. Luke 18:17 (NKJV)

So we come to Him as a child, crying and bawling and whining and moaning, ever so noisily.  And He doesn’t turn us away.  He opens His arms and holds us close and hears our complaint and assures us of His perfect plan.

The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms Deuteronomy 33:27 (NKJV)

Did you know Jesus Himself, when He walked this earth, moaned noisily? When His good friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept and groaned within Himself, before raising Lazarus from the dead…

Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. John 11:38 (NKJV)

Today when we don’t have the words to say, but all we can do is cry out in anguish, moaning noisily, God has sent His Holy Spirit to pray for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered.  Even the Holy Spirit groans…

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

Not only do Jesus and the Holy Spirit moan, the whole earth has been moaning! Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were kicked out of the garden, all creation has been crying out to be delivered from its bondage of corruption…

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:22 (NKJV)

If Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and all creation are groaning, we can groan, too. Yes, my friend, it is okay to moan noisily and let God hear your complaint.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Moan noisily.  I’m serious.  If you’ve been holding back at your TEA time with Jesus, just sharing small talk and not really pouring out your heart, today is the day.  Give Jesus all your hurts and sadness.  Tell Him you don’t like what’s going on in your world.  Unload your burdens on Jesus and let Him carry them today. 

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23 (NKJV)

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 (NKJV)

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

My Thanks TEA

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonioans 5:18  (NKJV)

The Apostle Paul tells us to give thanks in everything.  God’s man who was ship-wrecked, beaten, stoned and imprisoned for Jesus, found ways to always be thankful. So this Thanksgiving, I’m challenged to give thanks in all parts of my TEA CUPP Prayers.  Here is a blend of Thanksgiving verses put together especially for you, my TEA CUPP friend.  May God bless your Thanksgiving prayers!

T for Thanksgiving:

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:2 (NKJV)

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1 (NKJV)

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)

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

E for Exalting:

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Psalm 30:4 (NKJV)

I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 (NKJV)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.  Psalm 92:1 (NKJV)

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen. Revelation 7:12 (NKJV)

We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.  Revelation 11:17 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise. 1 Chronicles 16:35 (NKJV)

 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High. Psalm 50:14 (NKJV)

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

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:12 (NKJV)

So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,
Will give You thanks forever;
We will show forth Your praise to all generations. Psalm 79:13 (NKJV)

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name;
The upright shall dwell in Your presence.
Psalm 140:13 (NKJV)

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

P is for Petitioning:

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. Colossians 1:3 (NKJV)

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: We can find so many thanksgiving verses in our Bibles.  Jesus must want to hear our thanks!  Underline these verses and other favorites God shows you.  Use these scriptures to pray and be thankful all year long.

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.

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

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.

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.

Turn the World Upside Down

World Clip ArtThese who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Acts 11:26 (NKJV)

The accusers were complaining about Paul and Silas turning the world upside down for Jesus, not realizing what a compliment that was.  It was also enemies of the King of kings who first coined the term “Christians,” meant to be a criticism upon those who followed Christ.  Yet today we proudly bear the name Christian and seek to turn the world upside down for Jesus.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

Our son Jacob leaves this week for a one-year mission to Europe with Campus Crusade for Christ.  Jacob and his team will be starting CRU fellowships at college campuses which have no Christian groups.  Imagine the miracles and impact this will have on our European brothers and sisters. Because of the generous support of friends and family and the people of Sweet Grass County, Montana, Jacob is able to embark on this mission.  Jacob and his team are turning the world upside down for Jesus.

Our son Kevin went to Kenya this summer with our church mission team. They spent a year raising money and they gave their time to serve these African neighbors.  Kevin’s team installed a water pipeline to bring clean water to a rural school. They also played games with the children and taught them about Jesus through a skit on the Good Samaritan.  Kevin and his team turned the world upside down for Jesus.

Our son Joel is about to begin homeschool kindergarten.  He knows his ABCs and numbers and several Bible stories.  Because of his brothers, he’s learning about countries in other parts of the world where there are children, too.  And someday, because of their example, Joel will go and turn the world upside down for Jesus, too.

And me, I’m the mom who sits down with Jesus each morning for TEA, praying for so many including our children.  Jacob was less than a year old when God called me to read my Bible and pray every day.  It is with tears of gratitude, a thankful heart and a trunk full of prayer journals, that I see the fruits of my labor in our children.  Even our daughter Kallie is teaching our granddaughter Kennedy, reading her Bible stories and singing Jesus Loves Me.  Together we are turning the world upside down for Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, never stop praying, never give up.  Always pray and persevere.  You are turning the word upside down for Jesus with every CUPP of TEA.

 Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

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