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)

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.

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.

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®

A CUPP of JOB

 Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might come to His seat! Job 23:3 (NKJV)

Today when you sit down with Jesus for TEA, you might consider drinking a CUPP of Job.  Job is the Old Testament book found right before the Psalms.  It tells the story of a man named Job who may have lived about the time of Abraham.  Job was a righteous man who followed God in all his ways.  But Satan had his eye on him (as the enemy often does to those who are serving the Lord), and he took from Job his animals, his children, and his health.  The book of Job tells the story of his friends failing miserably to cheer him up.  Though their words did not help Job at the time, there is wisdom for us now as we use their elocutions in prayer.

T is for Thanksgiving

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

Who does great things, and unsearchable,
Marvelous things without number.
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields. Job 5:9-10 (NKJV)

But He is unique, and who can make Him change?
And whatever His soul desires, that He does.  Job 23:13 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? Job 2:10 (NKJV)

Teach me, and I will hold my tongue;
Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.  Job 6:24 (NKJV)

If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
You will remove iniquity far from your tents.  Job 22:23(NKJV)

C is for Calling

But as for me, I would seek God,
And to God I would commit my cause.
Job 5:8(NKJV)

Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart. Job 22:22 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

Yet man is born to trouble,
As the sparks fly upward.
Job 5:7 (NKJV)

In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind? Job 12:10 (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)

My foot has held fast to His steps;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.  Job 23:11-12 (NKJV)

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.  Job 28:28 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing,
And your lips with rejoicing.
Job 8:21 (NKJV)

But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.  Job 23:10 (NKJV)

He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.  Job 33:26 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning (pouring out my heart)

 You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.  Job 22:27 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, it is true.  As Job 22:27 says above, God hears you!  Come, take a seat with Jesus and have a CUPP of Job today.  Pick just one verse and use it as a conversation starter as you pour out your heart to the Lord. 

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

TEA with ACTS

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

How would you like to have TEA with Jesus while praying the Word of God from the first Christians?  The Book of Acts tells the story of the early Christians who lived right during and after Jesus’ death and resurrection.  These disciples actually walked with Jesus, learning from Him before He died.  Others saw Him after He rose from the grave.  Others believed because of the testimony of these witnesses.  Their story is told in the Book of Acts.  Here we find some wonderful verses to use in our prayer time with Jesus.  See how these verses will help you start a conversation with Jesus as you share a CUPP of TEA today:

T is for Thanksgiving

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

…Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them. Acts 4:24 (NKJV)

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God Acts 11:18 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy SpiritActs 2:38 (NKJV)

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.  Acts 3:19 (NKJV)

…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.  Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.  ACTS 22:16 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 (NKJV)

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Acts 5:29 (NKJV)

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. Acts 4:10 (NKJV)

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37 (NKJV)

…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.  Acts. 14:22 (NKJV)

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)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved. Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. Acts 2:39 (NKJV)

Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.  Acts 10:4 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning (pouring out my heart)

…Lord, what do You want me to do?…  Acts 9:6 (NKJV)

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Acts 12:5 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Grab your Bible and turn to the book of Acts in the New Testament today.  Underline these and your other favorite verses.  Pick a verse to memorize and start a conversation with Jesus today. God bless you, dear TEA CUPP friend!

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

Filled to the Brim

Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. John 2:7 (NKJV)

Have you heard the story of Jesus’ first miracle?  It was almost like a tea party. He was at a wedding at Cana when they ran out of wine.  His mother Mary came to Jesus and said, “They have no wine.”  Now, why did Mary tell Jesus that? Did she know He could do something about it?  Perhaps all those things she pondered in her heart so many years led to this moment.

Mary was pretty sure of herself, simply telling the servants to do whatever Jesus said. That’s good advice for all of us!  Well, Jesus told the servants to fill six stone waterpots to the brim with water.  After they had done that, He told them to scoop it up and take it to the master.  It was the best wine he had ever tasted. What a miracle!

But I noticed a few things about this story.  First, Jesus told the servants to fill the pots to the brim.  Do you think that message is also for us? Should we fill our TEA CUPPs to the brim each day with God’s Word so His miracles can happen?  I think so! Don’t drink just a half cup, fill your heart to the brim!

Another point I noticed was there were only six waterpots.  Often in Bible stories, the number seven is used to show perfection.  Where was the seventh waterpot? Jesus is the seventh water pot! Or, rather, the first to make seven.  Jesus is the Living Water who gives us eternal life.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Jesus’ first miracle in John 2:1-12.  Fill your TEA CUPP to the brim with God’s Word and pour out your heart to Him in prayer.  Be prepared for a miracle (though sometimes miracles take time)!

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 (NKJV)

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