My Dad is on the Way

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2 (NKJV)

January and February were mixed up in Montana this year.  After a mild January with little precipitation, we all thought we’d escaped the worst of winter.  Then like a visit from the North Pole, a polar vortex descended upon our state, burying both the brave and the not-so-brave in snow.

On one of the milder days, we drove up the mountain valley for work.  I let my 18-year-old son drive since I do not like driving in snow (yes, I live in the wrong state!).  Coming around the bend in the road, our old minivan with two-wheel drive tires refused to turn and continued straight into the grove of trees.  I was thankful to come to such a safe resting spot, not on the edge of a cliff, or worse, down in a ravine.  Most comforting was knowing my husband was just 15 minutes behind us in another vehicle, as we had so many supplies to bring that day.

Being the caring country place where we live, every passerby stopped to ask if they could help.  Each time, my son hopped out of the car and thanked them with the reply, “My Dad is on the way.”  Those with horse-trailers or two-wheel drive must have been quite relieved not to pull us out.  When my husband arrived in his four-wheel drive pick-up, he quickly hooked up the tow rope and pulled us back onto the road in less than a minute, and we were on our way again.

But my son’s message stuck with me:  “My Dad is on the way.”

We can all say this each day, “My Dad is on the way.”  No matter what trial we are facing, whether we are stuck in a snow drift, family troubles, bad choices, illness, mourning, despair…we have the promise from God the Father that He is on the way.  He is on the way to rescue us.  He is on the way to guide us.  He is on the way to forgive us.  He is on the way to heal us.  He is on the way to comfort us.  He is on the way to bring us hope.  And He is just a prayer away.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
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 61:1-2 (NKJV)

God might come in the form of a Good Samaritan who tows us out of the snow drift.  He might come in the form of a friend who prays for us.  He comes in His Word, the Bible, where He guides and comforts us.  He comes as the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Most importantly, He comes as Jesus, who rescues, forgives and saves us.   And finally, He gives us hope that He is coming again!

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…
1 Thessalonians 4:16

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friend, Jesus is on the way!  He is coming back again. He promises us of His return in the Bible.  Revelations tells us exactly what will happen, echoing the prophets from Isaiah to Daniel to Joel.  He is coming on the clouds and every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7) and every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10).  Until that day comes, keep praying, and God the Father will be right on the way to help you. 

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)

…when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Mark 8:38 (NKJV)

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

 

My Coat

We all need coats, especially this time of year in the northern United States.  Each day as we don our coats to head outside, we might contemplate the coats in the Bible.  Did you know there are so many Bible coats?

The first coats: It all began when Adam and Eve listened to Satan the snake, ate the forbidden fruit, and realized they were naked. Because they had disobeyed God, Adam and Eve could no longer stay in God’s perfect garden.  But before He kicked them out of Eden, God made clothing for Adam and Eve out of animal skins.  When God killed his dear animal friends, that was the first time blood was shed for sins, pointing to the day when Jesus would shed His blood for our sins on the Cross.  Adam’s and Eve’s animal skin coats were the first coats in the Bible.

Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21 (NKJV)

More coats: Flip forward a few pages in Genesis to the story of Joseph.  In this passage, Joseph’s father Jacob gave him a beautiful coat, making his brothers very jealous. John MacArthur in his Study Bible tells us that Joseph was a type of Christ, pointing us to Jesus. Both had their coats taken from them and were falsely accused. Both Joseph and Jesus were shepherds of their Father’s sheep. Both were dearly loved by their Fathers, but hated by their brothers.    Both were placed with two other criminals, one who was saved and one who was lost.  And both Joseph and Jesus forgave those who wronged them and saved their nations.  What men had intended for evil, God turned to good.  And their coats played a big part of the story.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
Genesis 37:3 (NKJV)

A Spirit-filled coat:: Next jump ahead to Elijah in 2 Kings 2:13.  Here Elijah’s protegee Elisha waited to see Elijah go to heaven.  Finally, after following Elijah everywhere, Elisha watched as God took Elijah up in a whirlwind.  When he was gone, Elisha found Elijah’s cloak on the ground.  He picked it up and took it with him and God gave Elisha double the Spirit of Elijah!

He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
2 Kings 2:13 (NKJV)

 A clean coat: Then in the book of Isaiah, long before Jesus even brought us salvation, Isaiah proclaimed we will have a garment of praise! We are clothed in garments of salvation and covered in robes of righteousness!  Oh, what joy!  Oh, what a promise!!! And again the prophet Zechariah promises that God gives us a clean robe.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV)

Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
Zechariah 3:4 (NKJV)

The wrong coat: The prophet Zephaniah cautions us to beware of wearing foreign apparel. We must be wearing the robe Jesus gives us. This warning is echoed again in Matthew when Jesus tells the story of a king having a wedding party…

And it shall be,
In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
That I will punish the princes and the king’s children,
And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.
Zephaniah 1:8 (NKJV)

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:11-13 (NKJV)

The healing coat: Also in the New Testament, time after time Jesus heals and heals and heals.  The people who follow Him long to just touch His coat for healing. So I pray for all on my prayer list who are need of Jesus healing, to just touch the robe of Jesus and be healed like the people in Matthew 14…

And begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Matthew 14:36 (NKJV)

A royal coat: And finally, flip to Revelations where Jesus returns to marry His bride the church.  And just like He clothed Adam and Eve, Jesus provides the wedding garments for His bride. He gives us the whitest most beautiful robe of all, washed clean by His precious blood.

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 19:8 (NKJV)

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:14 (NKJV)

Oh, Jesus, I don’t deserve it, but You gave it to me anyway — Your beautiful coat, pure and white and every color of the rainbow all at once!  Oh, Jesus, what a miracle!  You take our filthy rags and make us beautiful!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My dear friend, put on the righteous robe which Jesus has given you.  Thank Him for His forgiveness and healing.  Stay away from the wrong coats.  Look up these fantastic coat verses in your Bible today. And welcome the day when Jesus comes again to clothe us all in white robes and take us home!

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.
(The Solid Rock by Edward Mote,1834)

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin
And be washed in the blood of the lamb
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean
O, be washed in the blood of the lamb.
( Are you Washed in the Blood? Elisha A. Hoffman, 1878)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also enjoy A Tale of Two Coats and Filthy Rags.

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

 

My Valentine

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands
Isaiah 49:16 (NKJV)

Our church family members are reading through the entire Bible this year.  Our pastor invited us at the beginning of the year to find a reading plan and commit to reading the whole Bible. There are several Bible reading plans out there.  I use the one included each day in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklet.  A popular online AP is called the Youversion.  You might like to check these out!

What do we find as we read the entire Bible?  We find a VALENTINE!  A love story from God to us.  As we read the Old Testament we see a Holy God who loves His children He created.  We see our sinful nature and how far we fall short of our Heavenly Father.  We read of a promised Savior, coming to rescue God’s people.  In the New Testament the Savior finally comes, Jesus, God’s Only Son!  However, He doesn’t do what the people expect, taking over in power.  Instead, He dies on a cross for the sins of all the world because He loves us all so much.  But Jesus doesn’t stay dead, on the third day He rises to eternal life! And someday Jesus is coming back again to marry His bride the church, https://tadalafilhome.com that’s us!  What a love story!  What a Valentine!  We are His!

Oh, Jesus, I have Your Word “MINE” stamped on me like on a candy heart!  How wonderful!  I am Yours and no one can snatch  me from You.  Forever and ever my name is inscribed on Your hand and You inscribed “MINE” on me.  O Jesus, this is my story. I am Yours! I am Yours!  I am Yours! Amen.

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
John 10:28-29 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  You are loved, dear TEA friend!  Jesus has your name written on His hand and He has stamped MINE on you!  You are like lovers with matching tattoos!  No matter if your Valentine’s Day is full of heartbreak or joy, you can rest in the peace that you belong to God.

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

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!  If you enjoyed this devotion, you might also like to read God loves you and My Love TEA and Valentine Cookies.  Happy Valentine’s Day, dear TEA friend!

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

The Day After

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)

Imagine the day after Jesus was born how Mary felt.  She had just endured this long journey on an uncomfortable donkey, Joseph searched for a place for them to stay, they ended up in a stable for animals, she gave birth to her first child which no doubt hurt a lot, she may have wished for a hot shower or bath, she had a hungry baby to care for and she was hungry herself, the animals were noisy, the straw floor was scratchy and dirty, she couldn’t send Joseph to Family Dollar for diapers, the shepherds had been there in the night, telling of the amazing angelic choir, and Joseph and Mary had stayed up late in awe of what the shepherds proclaimed. Now Mary was ever-so-tired…but in her arms she held the most precious Baby of all, the Savior of the world…Jesus was with her!

The day after Christmas there are wrapping paper remains and travels and returns and leftovers and more family and celebrations, or perhaps there are sickness and tummy aches. And after a month of anticipation and counting down days on the advent http://barefootpuppets.com/xanax/ calendar, http://barefootpuppets.com/xanax/ there are children with Christmas blahs, wondering what to look forward to next…but Jesus is with us.

The day after any event may have all sorts of emotions…the day after a speech or term paper is due, there is relief for the student. The day after graduation has great excitement and anticipation. The day after a wedding, there are tears and relief for the parents, joy and struggles for the newlyweds. The day after a loved one dies, we endure heart-wrenching weeping and what-ifs…but Jesus is with us.

Whatever your day after is like, remember this verse from Lamentations…

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)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Jesus is with you in all your “days after,” my friend.  His mercy and compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  God is faithful and will help you through  your day after.  Claim His promise of faithfulness today!

…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)

The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails… Zephaniah 3:5 (NKJV)

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

No Shadows in Heaven

And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
1 John 2:25 (NKJV)

I often think about heaven, don’t you?  I think of all the people waiting there for me.  At the top of my list are God and Jesus, of course! There is my Daddy, who passed into the arms of Jesus exactly one year ago, and the countless relatives who went before him. Then there are my college cross country coaches and teammates who died in a plane crash. There are our three miscarried babies, Gloria Anne, Angelica May, and Gabriella Hope and our dear grandchild.  There are all the Bible heroes like Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, David, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, all the Marys and Martha, Peter, John, Paul…And there are a number of people Facebook still tells me are having birthdays, but they are now with Jesus.  It’s comforting to think about all those dear people waiting for me in heaven.

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
Revelation 21:23 (NKJV)

One day while reading my Bible and contemplating heaven, I realized there won’t be any shadows in heaven.  Isn’t that interesting?!  Think about it…we have shadows on earth because a light or the sun shines on one side casting a shadow to the other side.  But in heaven, Jesus is the light and He is everywhere!  With light coming from all directions, you can’t have shadows!

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 (NKJV)

I imagine my Daddy, who studied light as a professor, asking Jesus, “Wow!  How do you do that?”  God drives out the darkness and there is only light!  Isn’t that a comforting thought? …no shadows, no darkness, no sighing, no tears, no death, no sickness, no pain, no evil…only the light of our precious Savior Jesus.  Wow!

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Turn on your light and turn your thoughts heavenward today.  Look up the Bible verses in this devotion and underline your favorite verses.  Write them in your prayer journal. Thank Jesus for His promise of heaven and imagine what it will be like. Keep shining for Jesus!

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)

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Two Daddies in Heaven, and Leave No Doubt, and Glimpses of Heaven with My TEA CUPP Prayers.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!  Jesus loves you!

For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:9  (NKJV)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:5 (NKJV)

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

Rainbow Promises

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. Genesis 9:13-15 (NKJV)

For those familiar with the true Biblical account of Noah’s Arc, you know that the rainbow is a symbol of God’s promise to never flood the whole earth again.  From the day Noah’s Arc landed on Mt. Ararat until now until forever, God’s promise remains.  He will never flood the whole earth again.

Whenever I see a rainbow, I pause to remember that promise, as well as other promises God gives us in His Word.  I remember that…

God loves me

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

God forgives my sins

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

He will be with me always

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)

He hears my prayers

I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears Isaiah 38:5 (NKJV)

He is preparing a place for me in heaven

 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.  John 14:2 (NKJV)

And so many, many more!

One evening, over a decade ago, my husband took me out for our anniversary dinner to a part of Montana called Paradise Valley.  As we were driving into the valley, the setting sun was shining through the evening rain clouds, creating a double rainbow for all to admire.  My longtime heart’s prayer was to have another baby, so I claimed that double rainbow as a double promise that God would bless us with a baby.  Though there were three miscarriages and three heartbreaks in the years following, I clung to that promise. And God fulfilled His promise in His time by giving us Joel when I was 45 years old.  We are so thankful for God’s promises.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  The next time you see a rainbow, claim all God’s promises!!! Write your favorite promises in your prayer journal today.

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

Shoes of Promise

And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 (NKJV)

Does your front entryway look like ours with a big pile of shoes?  Shoes that are coming, shoes that are going, work shoes, play boots, running shoes for the motivated, old Crocs for taking out the trash, and slippers for relaxing.  But most importantly, shoes to keep us on God’s path. How can shoes keep our feet on the straight and narrow?  The best way is to start the day reading your Bible before you even put on your shoes!

1994 was the first year I read my Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.  I remember, because that was the year our little Jacob turned one.  And every year since then, I continued to read God’s Word, some years reading a One Year Bible, broken up into daily readings.  Other years, I’d read a regular Bible, while using a reading guide to mark off what I’d read.  It was always easy starting out, for Genesis has the exciting stories of Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph’s dreams.  The momentum of those stories can carry your feet through Exodus where Moses leads God’s people out of Egypt.  But when you reach Leviticus, things can slow down as you tip toe through the many laws laid out for the Israelites.  That’s why I’m delighted when I find verses in Leviticus that God uses to inspire me.  It’s a reward for the long pages of reading.

But you have to read all the way to Leviticus 26 for today’s special promises!  In My TEA CUPP Prayers (pp.98-99) I mention how God gives us calls with promises.  If we do this call, God promises this promise.  Here in Leviticus 26:3 we read a seemingly straight-forward call with amazing promises.

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them...Leviticus 26:3 (NKJV)

God’s call is this: If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them.  That’s it.  We have to walk in His Word.  Obey His commandments.  And do what God tells us. Doesn’t sound too complicated, but as we all know, we can’t do it.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Even our best efforts, fall short of God’s glory.  But because we have Jesus’ forgiveness, we are made righteous and can claim the promises that follow in Leviticus 26.

These 10 promises include:

  1. Rain
  2. Produce and fruit
  3. Threshing and vintage shall last until next season
  4. Eat until you are full
  5. Dwell in safety
  6. Peace
  7. No evil beasts or swords
  8. Enemies will fall
  9. God’s favor
  10. God will dwell with us

Aren’t those promises you want to hold on to?  In the rural community where we live, such promises for rain and harvest are truly appreciated.  Even a person in the city is glad to have food to eat and to be able to dwell in safety.  And we are all thankful for God’s favor and dwelling with us. As the Psalmist said,

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Levitcus 26:1-13 and claim God’s wonderful promises as you have TEA with Jesus today. Then, when you put on your shoes, ask Jesus for His help in keeping on His path, and for His forgiveness when you fall short.  Pray Psalm 25:4, Show me Your ways, O LordTeach me Your paths.

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)

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (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 http://www.healthandrecoveryinstitute.com/adderall-adhd/ 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

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.

Snowball Truths

snow1Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  Mark 13:31

Two truth snowballs hit me one day.  I was planted on the sofa by the window where I always sit for my TEA time with Jesus.  That day’s Bible reading took me to Mark 13.

Jesus was talking about the trials of the end times.  He told His followers:

 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. Mark 13:18 (NKJV)

As I read this, I glanced out the window at two feet of new March snow.  Oh, I was so tired of winter! We had such a hard season already, and now we had more snow.  To imagine fleeing tribulation in winter would be awful.  Yet persecuted Christians in other countries already endure such tragedy.

Jesus doesn’t often tell us specifically what we ought to pray except here, “Pray that Your flight won’t be in winter.” And so, since Jesus told me to, I prayed that I would not be fleeing in winter.  I prayed my loved ones and I would all be with Him before any tribulation comes. And Jesus promised me in Revelation 3:20 that He will keep me from that hour of trial. This promise is also for you!

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)

A few hours later, I was at church for our Sunday service.  One of the songs was Amazing Grace with the verse:

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.snow2

That afternoon, since the sun was shining and the temperature had risen, I went for a walk along the cleared highway, noticing the snow was already being eaten by the Chinook winds blowing from the mountains.  The song from church popped into my head, “The earth shall soon dissolve like snow…”

If you haven’t seen a Chinook wind’s work, please see the photos in this devotion.  The first is on a Thursday when we received almost two feet of snow. The second is three days later on Sunday when I noticed the Chinook winds starting to eat the snow.  The last is on Wednesday just six days after the two feet of snow hit us, not a speck to be seen!

The snow dissolved in a matter of hours and days!  That is what will happen to the earth in the last days, according to Scripture…

snow3But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  2 Peter 3:10 (NKJV)

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1 (NKJV)

Can you imagine that?  All of a sudden, Jesus will come like a thief in the night.  The heavens and earth will be burned up with a loud noise, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. It could happen quicker than our snow melted!

Today’s TEA CUPP: I encourage you to read Mark 13 and Revelations over the next few days to get a bigger picture of the end times.  The battles and judgments are not something we want to endure.  Let’s look with joy and hope to Jesus’ promise of taking us to heaven first.

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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NKJV)

Ten and nine, eight and seven,
Six and five and four,
Call upon the Savior while you may;
Three and two, coming through the clouds in bright array,
The countdown’s getting lower every day.
(a favorite Awana song)

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