Hello from Jennifer Grace

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Dear TEA CUPP Friends,

Hello! Today I have a short video clip for you made by my pastors.  I’m so thankful to Jesus for sending me such good helpers to invite ladies to TEA each day with the King of kings.  I’d love to come share more with your ladies’ church group or Bible study.  Please contact me about a visit. Please click here to find out how you can read your very own copy of My TEA CUPP Prayers. Thank you for taking a few minutes to let me share with you.

 

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24 (NKJV)

Hungering for God’s Word

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)

Can you imagine truly hungering for God’s Word so much that you would fast (not eat) for weeks and months to get your very own Bible?  If you are like me, you have a collection of Bibles on your bookshelf from different times in your life…the one I was given in church as a third grader, the ones my children received, my first One Year Bible, and more. There they sit because we have newer study Bibles we have come to love.  So, it is hard to imagine begging God week after week to send a Bible.  But that is how the amazing story of Brother Yun begins in The Heavenly Man.

My dear Bible study leader Terry has recommended this book on several occasions, so finally I made it my goal to read it this summer.  Just a few pages into the book I’m already in awe of what God did in the life of The Heavenly Man.  Brother Yun became a Christian as a teenager when Jesus miraculously healed his dad of cancer.  This all came about while Bibles were banned in China. Christians buried their Bibles in tin cans to save them for when God’s Word would be allowed again.  Brother Yun wanted a Bible so much, he prayed and fasted for months. Finally in the wee hours before dawn, a Bible was delivered to his door, just as he had dreamed.  Brother Yun ate up the Word of God like a starving soul, memorizing entire books of the Bible.  Wow!

How many people have Bibles sitting on the shelf as we do that are never opened? Is there someone in the world that is praying right now for a Bible to be delivered?  Are we as hungry as Brother Yun for God’s Word, gobbling it up every day as our very life and nourishment?

Today’s TEA CUPP: God has given us a gift, the Bible, His Word.  Do not neglect this precious present from the Lord.  Sit down with Jesus every day for TEA and eat His Word, the bread of life.  Underline your favorite verses.  Memorize them.  Use God’s Word as conversation starters as you pour out your heart to Jesus in prayer.  Commit to reading your Bible every day. And if you are one without a Bible, please message me and I will send you one from my shelf!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

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

Of Batman and Blessings

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)

One summer evening our son Jacob came home from the gym and exclaimed, “You’ll never guess who I worked out with today!”

Knowing that he was correct, I would never be able to guess, I responded, “Who?”

“Michael Keaton!” beamed Jacob. For those familiar with movies, Michael Keaton played Batman in the 1989 and 1992 Batman and Batman Returns flicks, among other roles.

Wow, Batman, the rescuer of Gotham City, the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, the Joker’s archenemy, was right here in our little town, working out at the gym. My son’s “brush with greatness” rubbed off on us all that evening.

Later, while I was washing the dinner dishes, I smiled, thinking about my son’s Batman encounter.  But then, my smile grew as I realized that every day I have TEA with Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, the Redeemer of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Satan’s archenemy. And when we are together, it is more than just a brush with greatness.  Jesus is the GREAT I AM,  And He spends all day and night with me.  He hears all my prayers and pours into me His Word and Holy Spirit.

And while my son may wonder if he’ll bump into Batman again at the gym, I know for a fact that Jesus will meet me for TEA everyday. Wow! What an honor and blessing.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Jesus is ready to meet you, too, dear TEA CUPP friend!  God’s Word promises that He is there knocking at your door.  Just open the door and invite Jesus in for TEA every morning.  Read His Word the Bible and chat with Him about whatever is on your heart. You will have more than a brush with greatness!

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

Some great verses to use as conversation starters with Jesus

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

Another Psalm TEA CUPP

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 (NKJV)

 

Every summer I find myself reading the Psalms.  I use a one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotional.  The July and August Old Testament readings are in the Psalms. I enjoy how these verses bring such comfort and offer so many meaningful prayers.

When my husband and I were engaged to be married, a missionary gave us this advice:  Read one Psalm a day to count down the days to your wedding.  We followed his suggestion and it really was a blessing!  Now I think how this idea could be used by others for their weddings, to await the arrival of a baby,  to anticipate healing, and so on.  Perhaps you’d like to try reading one Psalm a day, too, as you pray and wait upon the Lord.

Or you might try a Psalm TEA CUPP with these verses from Psalms 41-50. Pray one or all these verses each day this coming week as you pour out your heart to Jesus.

T for Thanksgiving:

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

E for Exalting:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:13 (NKJV)

In God we boast all day long,
And praise Your name forever. Psalm 44:8 (NKJV)

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth. Psalm 47:1-2 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

I said, “Lord, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” 
Psalm 41:4 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

Be still, and know that I am God… Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

 U is for Understanding our story:

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46:11 (NKJV)

Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. Psalm 50:15 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
 
Psalm 43:3 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear TEA CUPP Friend, you are invited to TEA every day with the King of kings!  I hope you will enjoy your time in the Psalms with Jesus. Underline your favorite verses for your own special TEA time. Soak up His Word today.

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.

Children of the Light

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Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Colossians 1:12 (NKJV)

When our family gets time-off, like many families, we head into God’s Creation to see the cool things He has made.  We are junkies for zoos, National Parks, and caves.

Most recently we visited a cave a few hours from our home.  My goal on every cave tour is to reach the daylight at the end.  After traveling down 600 steps, viewing stalactites, stalagmites, columns, cave popcorn, cave bacon, and so forth, the guide prepared us for the final event.  The guide announced she would now turn out the lights so we could experience total darkness.  When she flipped the switch, throwing us into complete blackness, our 6-year old Joel reached out to hug me, though he had not wanted his hand held earlier.

With only a candle lighting her face, the guide told the story of a man who broke into the cave on a Friday evening a long time ago.  His flashlight died while he was underground. Since there were not tours until Monday, he had to wait two days in total darkness before anyone found him.  By Monday he was so disoriented, he couldn’t tell up from down.  His eyes took two weeks to adjust to daylight again. This story reminds us that we don’t belong in dark places!  We are children of the Light, and that Light is Jesus!

 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Today, if you find yourself in a dark place, reach out for Jesus as my son reached out for me. Or, if everything is going well for you, be a light for someone else who is going through a dark time.  Take her a plate of cookies or a bouquet of flowers and the light of Jesus!

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.  Colossians 1:13 (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 22:15 (NKJV)

 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

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

Gluten-Free Choc. No-Bakes

While I’m camping with my family, please enjoy this summer recipe…

When it’s summer time and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, or perhaps your oven broke like ours did last month, it’s time for some No-Bake Cookies!

This variety of No-Bakes is gluten-free and dairy free.  The oats, coconut, and peanut butter make these a great energy-treat on a busy summer day.

Here Chef Joel whips up a batch…

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond milk
2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup shredded coconut

Directions:
In a large sauce pan, cook the coconut oil, milk, sugar and cocoa over medium heat, stirring constantly.  When it starts to boil, keep stirring and let it boil for one minute.  Then remove the pot from the stove to a pot holder on the counter.  Now add the peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until combined.  Add the oats and coconut, one cup at a time until well mixed.

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.  With a small ice cream or melon scoop, scoop the mixture onto the pans, about 20 per pan.  Place the pans in the frig to firm up. Now, stand guard, they will disappear quickly!  If you prefer them a bit softer, you could add less oatmeal.

Happy summertime, dear friends!

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus, Calm the Storm!

“Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:41 (NKJV)

 

We awoke at 11:23 p.m. to gale-force winds slamming my husband’s side of the tent, pressing tent fabric to his nose.  The bungee strings and tent pegs threatened to pull loose as we wondered if we would be blown across the field and highway.

Just two hours before the storm hit, we had said our good-nights to escape the mosquitoes and catch up on our sleep. It had been such a peaceful evening of roasting marshmallows and playing games by the campfire.  Now as the tent quaked around us, we remember those items we had left on the picnic table.  We peeked out of the tent and, sure enough, they were blowing away.  Quickly we unzipped and scrambled to collect our things, stowing them in the car.  Then back to the tent to hold it down and wait out the storm.

As I lay curled up in my sleeping bag, the wind continued to rage.  All I could pray was, “Jesus, please calm the storm. Jesus, please calm the storm. Jesus, please calm the storm.”  Over and over I reminded Him that even the wind and waves obey Him. I prayed for the group of bicyclists camping nearby, their bikes carefully covered with trash bags for the night, and their pup tents, like ours, rattling in the wind.  Then I started praying for those friends who are having storms in their lives, their health, their marriages, their children.  I kept on praying, “Jesus, please calm the storm.”

And after what seemed like hours, but was perhaps less than an hour, the wind died down and gentle rain drops pattered our tent.  I fell asleep, waking five hours later to the light of dawn and birds chirping. Only two tent poles were broken! Thank You, Jesus, for calming the storm!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41.  Ask Jesus to calm the storms in your life today. Say, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And let Jesus say to your storm, “Peace. Be still!”  Trust Jesus through every storm.

The Lord on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea.
 Psalm 93:4 (NKJV)

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

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:34 (NKJV)

In Spring 2018, the world was surprised to see United States President Trump recognize Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel, moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to the original capital city.

Yet for Messianic Jews and Christians familiar with God’s Word, this came as no surprise.  For during the Old Testament reign of King David, the king took a census which God punished with a plague across the land.  The plague lasted for three days, killing 70,000  people.  But then God had mercy, commanding the angel of death to halt right at the threshing floor of Ornan (Araunah) (2 Samuel 24:14-16).  King David purchased that threshing floor and built an alter to the Lord.  And that was the exact spot, the Holy Ground, God chose for King Solomon’s temple.

Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 Chronicles 3:1 (NKJV)

Fast forward to the time of Jesus. Over and over in the book of Luke we read how Jesus was headed to Jerusalem (In fact, if you read Luke with a pen in hand, you can underline the word Jerusalem multiple times). Jesus knew he had to die there for the sins of the world.  Along the way, Jesus taught the people about His Father’s love, healed the sick, and performed mighty miracles.  But Jesus never lost sight of his goal: Jerusalem.

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.  Luke 9:51 (NKJV)

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Luke 13:22 (NKJV)

Jerusalem should be our goal, too.  Yet ours is a New Jerusalem, a Holy City, Zion, come down from heaven.  We long for the day when Jesus will come again to rule on earth.  Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).  Jesus will reign forever and ever in the New Jerusalem.

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16 (NKJV)

Until that day comes, we must fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), following His example with Jerusalem always as our goal. When we learn to drive, we are taught to look far down the road, not right in front of the car. By focusing on a distant point we drive straight, rather than weaving around the road.  When we follow Jesus, we also want to stay on His straight and narrow path, looking far down the road to His New Jerusalem.

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:10 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What is your Jerusalem?  Is it Jesus?  Every day, through every up and down, fix your eyes on the Lord of heaven and earth. With God’s Word in your heart and on your lips in prayer, keep marching to the goal! And while we are marching, let us pray for the current situation in Jerusalem. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there 2 Chronicles 6:6 (NKJV)

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

My Kevin Story

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)

Today we celebrate the high school graduation of our third child, Kevin Jon. We thank Jesus for this son who has brought us so much joy these 18 years.  It will be very hard to not have him doing home school any more!

Often I’m reminded how I was praying for other friends to have babies so long ago and decided to add my name to the prayer list, and God heard my prayers.  Perhaps some of you haven’t heard my Kevin story…so here it is…

Kevin has a big sister Kallie and a big brother Jacob. When Kevin’s older brother Jacob was just a few hours old, I was lying in the hospital bed holding baby Jacob in my arms. Right there and then God put the desire in my heart for more children.  Little did I know this desire would become one of the hardest prayers of perseverance in my life up until then.

When Jacob was half a year old, I started reading a One Year Bible, a goal I’d had for many years which I continue today. That same year I was introduced to prayer journaling and started jotting down my prayers. One of my main prayers was for friends having babies.  At one point I decided to add my name to my baby prayer list, hoping God would bless our family again.

When Jacob was six, I was reading my One Year Bible when a verse from  2 Kings 4:16 popped out at me that I had never noticed before.  “Next year at this time you will hold in your arms a son.”  I claimed this promise and a month later we were expecting!

I cried out to God with my voice—
         To God with my voice;
         And He gave ear to me.  Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)

Nine months after I underlined that promise, Kevin Jon came into the world. I was so happy that God had filled this desire of my heart after seven long years of prayer.  I used to sing Kevin a song, “When Jacob was almost seven, Kevin came from heaven…” I never thought God would make me wait longer than seven years to answer another prayer, but that is another story!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
      But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.   Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV)

We had prayed so much to have Kevin, I just knew from day one that I had to pray for him each day. But what do you pray for a brand new baby?  We know God has special plans for him, but what are they?  And so for many years, I laid my hand on Kevin’s head and prayed the same prayer over Kevin each night:

Dear Jesus, Thank you for Kevin. We love him so much.  Please keep him healthy and give him a good night sleep. Please guard over Kevin always with Your angels, fill him with Your Spirit, and help him always follow You.  In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Over the years I’ve added to that prayer things that are going on his life from his orange cats, to 4H projects, to his future.  And here he is graduating!  The prayers will just keep going as I pray for him to follow the straight and narrow path God has laid out for him.

I still remember the evening when he was seven years old, Kevin tossed me a note.  I opened it to find the best message ever: “Dear Mom and Dad, I want to be a Christgun.” That evening as we tucked Kevin into bed, his Daddy and I listened as Kevin asked Jesus into his heart. Another very special day was three years later when Kevin and his brother Jacob and Daddy and I were all baptized together.

Kevin is worth every moment of prayer. He is always here to help me.  He is the most caring to his baby brother and baby niece.  He traveled to Kenya on a mission trip.  He serves his community through 4H and his church with playing piano and running the sound system. His hobbies vary incredibly from entomology to robots to magic.  Kevin is a gifted speaker and I have always wondered what God’s calling will be on his voice.

Today is the beginning of a new chapter for Kevin and I will be praying for him all the way.  Go, Kevin!  We love you!  We’re so proud of you! We thank Jesus for you! Go light up the world for Jesus!

Love, Mom

xoxoxox

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

P.S.  Kevin was due on March 19th, 2000, his grandpa’s birthday, so we named him Kevin Jon after his Grandpa Jon.  This Father’s Day while we celebrate Kevin’s graduation, we also remember Grandpa Jon who is now in the arms of Jesus.

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