My Rockin’ Rock TEA

Some dear ladies in my town own a wonderful tea company called Tumblewood Teas.  They are always blending new flavors of tea, from Lemon Beehive Honeybush to Petticoat Peppermint to Sweet Grass Celebration to Prairie Spice Pear.  I want to try them all, but sometimes I get stuck on a favorite for a few months.  It’s the same way for me with Bible verses. There are so many wonderful verses to memorize and pray, yet I often focus on my same favorite verses for weeks at a time.  So, today we’re brewing a new blend of verses with Jesus as our Cornerstone.  Sit with Jesus for a CUPP of Rockin’ Rock TEA today! Use these verses as  conversation starters as you pray with Jesus all week long.

T for Thanksgiving: 

Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty ROCK.  Deuteronomy 8:15 (NKJV)

He made him ride in the heights of the earth,
That he might eat the produce of the fields;
He made him draw honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty ROCK. Deuteronomy 32:13 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

He is the ROCK, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.
 Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV)

No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any ROCK like our God.
1 Samuel 2:2 (NKJV)

The Lord is my ROCK and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NKJV)

The Lord lives!
Blessed be my ROCK!
Let God be exalted,
The ROCK of my salvation! 2 Samuel 22:47 (NKJV)

But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the STONES would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Of the ROCK who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you. 
Deuteronomy 32:18 (NKJV)

In God is my salvation and my glory;
The ROCK of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God. Psalm 51:12 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

For You are my ROCK and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3 (NKJV)

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the ROCK. Matthew 7:24 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a ROCK,
And established my steps.
Psalm 40:2 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a ROCK.
 Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

To You I will cry, O Lord my ROCK: Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Psalm 28:1 (NKJV)

Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my ROCK of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.
Psalm 31:2 (NKJV)

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 61:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  While you sip  your Rockin’ Rock TEA today, enjoy this old hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. May Jesus be our ROCK in every area of our lives, now and always.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
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.

Edward Mote, ca.1834

Scripture 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
(NKJV)

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.

A Pot of Psalm 40

Oh, how I love my TEA time with Jesus.  It’s the best way to begin my day, immersed in His Word.  Are you reading a Psalm or Bible passage each day and praying with Jesus? I want to encourage you again, to take time each morning to chat with the Lord.  Here are some verses from Psalm 40 to get you started…

T is for Thanksgiving

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
 
Psalm 40:5 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God… 
Psalm 40:3 (NKJV)

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”  Psalm 40:16 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Psalm 40:6 (NKJV)

For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me. Psalm 40:12 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

  I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
Psalm 40:1-2 (NKJV)

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me... Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)

…Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord
Psalm 40:3 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning (pouring out my heart)

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. Psalm 40:11(NKJV)

…You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me! Psalm 40:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: This morning prepare Psalm 40 for your TEA bag.  Let it steep in your pot and pour several CUPPs as you enjoy your prayer time with Jesus. 

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.

Sipping Psalm 16

There is nothing sweeter than beginning each day with a CUPP of TEA and sitting down with Jesus to read a Psalm. If you’ve been wanting to begin a prayer time, this is a great way to begin!  Heat your kettle, pour your TEA, and open your Bible, inviting Jesus to join you.  The Psalms aren’t too long, so reading one a day is do-able for most busy ladies.  Today I have Psalm 16 for you, broken up into the parts of the TEA CUPP.  You might also read the Psalm in order, scrambling the TEA CUPP in favor of the beauty of this Psalm.

T is for Thanksgiving

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
Psalm 16:6 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. Psalm 16:7 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
“You are my Lord
, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
Psalm 16:2 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope. Psalm 16:9(NKJV)

U is for Understanding

  I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning (pouring out my heart)

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. Psalm 16:1(NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Pray Psalm 16 for your TEA time with Jesus today.  You can read the Psalm straight from your Bible or pull out individual verses to pray.  Be blessed as you immerse yourself in one of God’s beautiful Psalms today.

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust
2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord,

“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16 (NKJV)

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

Face to Face

 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend...  Exodus 33:11 (NKJV)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

I need to see you face to face to hear you.  I have a 50% hearing loss in both ears.  My mom has a hearing loss, too; she lost all her hearing after I was grown up.  Her mom and grandma also had hearing losses.  It’s a family thing, we can’t hear.  But thankfully I have a really good hearing aid doctor who outfitted me with a hearing aid, so I can still catch most conversations.  However, if you turn out the lights or cover your face, I can’t hear you.  Though I don’t think I read lips, I seem to read faces to hear what people are saying.

It’s like that with Jesus, too. I need to see His face to hear what He is saying each morning. I imagine Him sitting right on the sofa beside me, giving me His full attention. I look deep into His Word and study each verse, pondering what He is telling me.  He turns the light on the scriptures and explains truths to me, bit by bit.

As we sit face to face, I thank Jesus for His many blessings, and tell Him how awesome He is. Jesus covers my sins, while uncovering God’s Word so I can understand it. He gives me my call for the day and I claim His promise to see me through all the ups and downs.  Finally, I pour out my heart to Jesus, giving Him all my worries and petitions, all the dear people on my heart. The Lord hears my cries and comforts me as we sit face to face on my sofa sipping TEA.

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”  Genesis 32:30 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Invite Jesus to TEA with you and sit face to face.  As you read your Bible, hear His Word as a real conversation with the King of kings. You are His precious daughter and He longs to chat with you.

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened... Psalm 40:6 (NKJV)

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

Kevin’s Great Guacamole

We love Mexican food!  All those fresh veggies and beans and a bowl full of chips — it’s a great lunch or dinner anytime, and easily made gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, if desired. But what makes it extra special is when you have avocados on hand.  Then you can an add a big bowl of guacamole to the buffet.  The other day my son Kevin made this delicious recipe. Everyone’s eyes and tummies will light up when you serve this at your next Mexican feast:

Kevin’s Great Guacamole Ingredients:
10 ripe avocados, scooped, pitted, and mashed
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons salt to taste
ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and chill until serving time.  This keeps a few days covered in the frig, but people will most likely gobble it all down right away! Enjoy!

P.S.  Try this with my Re-fried Bean Dip!

But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” Luke 24:41 (NKJV)

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.

Seven Things Job’s Friends Did Right

Listen to this, O Job;
Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.  Job 37:14 (NKJV)

Do you know the story of Job, how he lost everything?  He lost his children, his animals and riches, and his health, all because God had a conversation with Satan.  Then some friends came to visit Job to cheer him up but failed miserably with all their talking.  We often focus on how those friends messed up, but today I want to share what they did right, a great lesson for us all.

When you begin reading the book of Job, the friends enter in the second chapter.  This first paragraph of their visit tells all the things they did right:

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:11-13 (NKJV)

Did you notice the seven things Job’s friends did right?:

  1. They came.
  2. They mourned.
  3. They comforted.
  4. They wept.
  5. They tore their robes.
  6. They sat down.
  7. No one spoke for 7 days and nights.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Can we learn from this when we have friends who are grieving or hurting?  Yes, we can! Let’s start with the first thing they did and simply come. Sit down and listen to your friend, then cry together. Our friends will always remember how we were there and they will be comforted.  I know when I had my first miscarriage and lost our long-awaited baby, it was the friends who came and cried with me that comforted me the most.  Even my parents drove all the way across the country, just to sit in lawn chairs with me while I recovered.  Then when a friend of mine lost a baby, I knew what to do.  I came and cried with her.  My friend, just come.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®