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 calendar, 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

Where is He?

…“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 (NKJV)

The wise men weren’t call wise for nothing!  They asked the very question we should all ask ourselves every day, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?”  (Matthew 2:2). Have we searched for Him with all our hearts? Have we followed His star to the ends of the earth to find Him? Or, have we tried to snuff Him out like the evil King Herod?

Where is Jesus in our lives?  Is He lost under the wrapping paper and tinsel?  Stuffed behind the Christmas tree?  Buried under Smart phones and social media and busyness?  Hidden behind a flurry of holiday activities, and activities all year long, for that matter? Is Jesus lost beneath some long-held bitterness that we won’t let go?

Perhaps you yourself are crying out to God this very moment because a loved one has died or there is great turmoil in your life.  You are asking, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).  And, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). And, “Jesus, if you had been here, my loved one would not have died.” (John 11:21)

Dear Friend, I assure you, God is there.  The King of the Jews is with you.  Jesus is weeping with you (John 11:25). He wants to hold you in His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27) and to dry all your tears (Revelations 7:17) and comfort you.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

People have been searching for Jesus since before He was born, to the day He was born, to the day He died, when Mary Magdalene cried to the Man she supposed to be the gardener, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” (John 20:15). And for those who seek Him, there is always Someone to point the way.  For the angel answered Mary Magdalene…

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Answer this question in your life today, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?” Is He hiding behind past hurts and busyness? Bring Jesus to the front.  Seek Him with all your heart.  Read your Bible each day and talk to Him in prayer.  Let Him be your peace and comfort. Be one of the wise ladies!

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)

Wise men and ladies still seek Him!

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, please check out some of my other Christmas writingsMy Christmas Revelation Tea, Marcie Says it Best, and My Heart Inn.

To You!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

There is always something exciting about a wrapped present.  At my house, led by the example of their Daddy, children shake, listen, feel and measure packages they find under the Christmas tree, trying to deduce what could be inside.  But perhaps the best part is the tag which reads, “To:____”. If your name is in the space next to the “To,” you are thrilled indeed!

Well, God has such a gift for all of us marked, “TO YOU.”  As the angels announced to the surprised shepherds, “For there is born TO YOU this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

The Gift was wrapped, not in shiny paper with a bow and placed under a tree; but in swaddling clothes, the same fabric used to wrap someone who died,  pointing to the day He would one day hang on a tree. The tag on this Baby was not just for the shepherds, but for the whole world: “To YOU!” The gift is Jesus. He came for our sins. The crucial thing is, YOU have to open this Gift yourself.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear Friend, if you haven’t already, please accept the free gift God offers you this Christmas, His one and only Son Jesus who died for our sins.  Put your name  in the verse:  “For there is born TO _______ this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Say a prayer, asking Jesus to forgive you, asking Him into your heart.  And you will truly have the Joy to the World and Peace on Earth we sing about each Christmas.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
John 4:14 (NKJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)

If you enjoyed this devotion, you might like to read my other Christmas Devotions, one of my favorite is Remember the Cross. Merry Christmas, dear TEA friends! Jesus loves you!

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

Good Deed Manger

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (NKJV)

This December we are renewing a Christmas tradition we began long ago, the Good Deed Manger. It all started when our oldest two children were little and I was reading Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.  One story was about a mom with four children who was having trouble with them arguing and fighting during December.  So, she began a Good Deed Manger.

The story was a real tear-jerker and hard for me to finish reading aloud to my family.  But we read it each year, nonetheless, and made our own Good Deed Manger.  The first year, Kallie, Jacob and their Daddy built the manger you see in this picture, it was a little crooked, just like in the story.  Some family members went outside to collect dry grass or straw to put in a bucket near the manger.

Then we all wrote our names on slips of paper and put them in a Christmas hat.  We took turns drawing names until everyone had one.  It was a secret, so no one could know whose name we had.  That was the person we would do good deeds for all week, without them seeing us.  Each time we did a good deed, we could put a straw in the manger, trying to make a soft bed for baby Jesus.  Every Sunday night we would draw new names and continue with the good deeds.  On Christmas Eve we put a baby doll in the manger to be the Baby Jesus.  We hoped the bed was soft enough for Him because of all our good deeds.

And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Make a Good Deed Manger with your family this December! If you can find Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul at your library, look for the original story  (p. 68 “The Last Straw”). and read it aloud together. Better yet, read the story of our Savior’s birth in Luke 2. Then have a blessed Christmas season, surprising everyone with good deeds.

 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Luke 2:16 (NKJV)

If you enjoyed this devotional activity, you might like to read my other Christmas Devotions, another favorite of mine is My Heart Inn.

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

Gingerbread Cookies and Chocolate Zucchini Bread

 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV)

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas before us, it’s time to start making more goodies.  Today I share two gluten-free recipes you can use to make treat plates to take to neighbors, if you can deliver the goodies before your family munches them!

The photo here includes both the gingerbread cookies I share with you today, along with the sugar cookies I  made one Valentine’s day.  Both are delicious and gluten-free, though I think the gingerbread variety holds together the best.

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 Tablespoon vinegar
1 beaten egg
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (Did you know xanthan gum is a powder ingredient that can be found near the Bob’s Red Mill flour in your grocery store?  It helps to hold baked goods together.)

In a medium saucepan, bring coconut oil, sugar, molasses, and vinegar to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat to potholder on the counter and allow to cool.

In another bowl, sift together dry ingredients: Brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and xanthan gum.

When pot is cool, stir in the beaten egg, followed by the dry ingredients.  Mix well, cover, and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove gingerbread dough from fridge and let sit on counter while oven is preheating.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Use extra tapioca flour to flour a cutting board lightly.  Scoop part of the dough onto your prepared cutting board.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out your favorite Christmas shapes. Use a metal pancake turner to lift the cookies from the cutting board to the parchment paper pans.  When the pans are full, bake for 5-8 minutes, or until done.  Cool on cooling racks.  Decorate with your favorite frosting and sprinkles.  (We mix 2 T. coconut oil, 2 cups powder sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla and enough almond milk to make a fine frosting). Merry Christmas!!!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

If you’re like us, your freezer still has zucchini from last August.  We grated several zucchinis and bagged them for winter baking and cooking. Grocery stores still have zucchinis this time of year, too. This recipe was one of our favorites we made in summer.  The Chocolate Zucchini Bread can be wrapped and given as a gift, or sliced and arranged on a plate with the cookies.  This recipe we modified from the Gluten-Free Mama Cookbook, another great resource for gluten-free eaters.

Ingredients:
Coconut oil to oil baking pans
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 cups shredded zucchini
4 eggs
1 cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 package Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two loaf pans with coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar and cocoa.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer combine the zucchini, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.  Mix for one minute.   Next, add the dry mixture, a little at a time, mixing just a little bit until combined.  Finally, add the chocolate chips and gently mix.

Pour half the batter into each prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake for 1 hour or until done.  Remove from oven to cooling racks.  Cool completely before slicing.  So tasty it should probably be called cake!

Arrange all the goodies on plates for your neighbors with a Christmas greeting and Bible verse.  Another recipe your neighbors will love is Anna’s Peanut Butter cups!

Remember the REASON for the SEASON!

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

My Light TEA

 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 (NJKV)

The Season of Light is upon us!  Christmas lights sparkle from homes as we drive through town.  Candles bring cheer inside as the sun disappears at 4:30 p.m.  During this time of Advent, we prepare our hearts for Jesus coming as the Light of the world.  And so a CUPP of Light TEA is in order.  Bask in the Light of Christ as you sip this Light TEA during the month of December.

T for Thanksgiving:

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)

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)

E for Exalting:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. Psalm 112:4 (NKJV)

Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light! Psalm 148:3 (NKJV)

He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22 (NKJV)

A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel. Luke 2:32 (NKJV)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:4-5 (NKJV)

Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:16 (NJKV)

A for Admitting:

There are those who rebel against the light;
They do not know its ways
Nor abide in its paths. Job 24:13 (NKJV)

You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. Psalm 90:8 (NKJV)

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:23 (NKJV)

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 (NKJV)

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the Lord. Isaiah 2:5 (NKJV)

If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10 (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)

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)

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

U is for Understanding our story:

For You have delivered my soul from death.
Have You not kept my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God
In the light of the living? Psalm 56:13 (NKJV)

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined. Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

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)

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 18:28 (NKJV)

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:6 (NKJV)

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. Psalm 89:15 (NKJV)

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways. Job 22:27-28 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. Psalm 4:6 (NKJV)

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: Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season. Join the Savior of your soul, Jesus, for TEA each day. Underline your favorite verses in your Bible. Use these Light verses as conversation starters as you pray and pour out your heart to the Lord.  Merry Advent!

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

My Christmas Revelation Tea

christmasrevelations And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4 (NKJV)

I love this time of year when I’m at the end of my Bible, soaking up the Book of Revelation. As children are anticipating Christmas, I’m reading about and anticipating Christ’s second coming, the return of Jesus.  Though I need the Christmas story in Luke’s gospel and Mary’s blessed response to God’s call, I also yearn to spend my December tea time sipping the book of Revelation.

So, I invite you to join me for My Christmas Revelation TEA.  You could sip the entire CUPP on Christmas Eve as you prepare for your family gathering.  You could sip one part of the CUPP each day between Christmas and New Year’s Day in preparation for a blessed new year.  Or, you might even pray these prayers as a way to greet the new year in January.  However you share your tea time with Jesus, you will be blessed.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Let us all prepare out hearts for coming of our Lord.  Today I give you a few verses for a Revelation TEA CUPP. You may find more verses to underline in your Bible that you enjoy praying, too. Use these verses as conversation starters as you chat with Jesus each day over a CUPP of TEA.

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

E is for Exalting
 You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 (NKJV)

Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested. Revelation 15:3-4 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting
 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (NKJV)

C is for Call
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11 (NJKV)

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  Revelation 22:17 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding
I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Revelation 3:8 (NKJV)

P is for Promises
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)

For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17 (NKJV)

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 21:4 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions
He who testifies to these things says,“Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21 (NKJV)

Every Perfect Gift

christmaspresent1 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)

With the coming of Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, how good it is to remember that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights!  Let us thank Him for these marvelous gifts, and put aside all else.

Today I give you “Tea Time with James” to ring in the Thanksgiving and Advent season.  James is another book with incredible verses.  You may like to read James yourself and underline more verses for your prayer time. Take some time to sip TEA with Jesus, thanking Him for His gifts, and sharing your joys, sorrows, sins, and celebrations.  Use these verses as conversation starters for your prayers. Be blessed, My TEA CUPP friend…

T is for Thanksgiving

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights... James 1:17 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

…the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10 (NKJV)

C is for Call 

 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... James 4:8 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  May your prayers be effective and fervent and avail much for God’s kingdom today!  Happy Thanksgiving and Advent season!

 

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

 

Marcie Says It Best

aPeanutsThe angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:28 (NKJV)

This past Christmas marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved Christmas television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I am among those who love the Peanuts gang and still sit down with my family every Christmas holiday to watch their shows, including Linus’ famous oratory from the book of Luke.

We have the show on DVD, along with another Peanuts Christmas show, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown. This sequel, though not as famous, has a line from Marcie that should be repeated to us all.

The scene is a classroom. Peppermint Patty, sitting in front, turns to tell Marcie that she will ask the teacher to let her be Mary in the Christmas program. Marcie replies that the teacher already offered her the part yesterday. But Peppermint Patty is not listening. She continues to talk about the story and how the angel Gabriel will come to visit her.

Marcie replies, “Why would the angel Gabriel talk to you? You never listen!”

Marcie’s words may strike a chord with us all.  “Why would the angel Gabriel talk to you? You never listen!”  Are we listening when God tells us to do something? To talk to the stranger, to visit a friend, to lend a hand?  I know I am guilty of closing my ears so many times.  But we can ask Jesus for His forgiveness and another chance.  And who knows, if we are listening, perhaps an angel will visit us someday!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  As you read your Bible and dig into God’s Word today, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and verses Jesus may have for you. Underline those verses and pray about what God is calling you to do next.  Then reply as Mary did

 “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

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

Peanuts and Marcie and Peanuts Characters are trademarks of Charles M. Schultz.

It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is distributed by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Company.

From Scared to Skeptical

santa10The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:160 (NKJV)

My 4-year old son Joel has never sat on Santa’s lap, and it’s looking like he never will.  Oh, he’s had opportunity.  Every year his big brother Kevin plays piano at the American Bank Christmas open house. And every year following the recital, Santa comes out with a jolly, “Ho, ho, ho.”

Joel’s first and second years at the recital, he was asleep, making an enjoyable concert for his parents.  The next few years Joel was awake, but wanted nothing to do with that big, loud fellow in the red suit.

This year, Joel was content to stand near the punch table and watch the other children visiting with Santa.  Joel tipped his head to me and queried, “Is this make-believe?”  Now where did he get an idea like that?!

Our dear neighbor standing nearby overheard the conversation. She assured Joel that Santa has many helpers because he has to go all over the world.  But Joel still wasn’t convinced he needed to sit on this helper’s lap. Just a few hours later we were watching the beautiful lighted Christmas parade on main street, and guess who was on almost every float…Santa!  No wonder Joel was skeptical!

I’m amazed that Joel could go from being scared to skepticism of Santa with no in-between years. Yet I am not too sad, for Jesus is the One in Whom I want Joel to believe. But it makes me wonder if some of us are the same way with God.  Do we move from being scared of our Creator to being skeptical that He even exists?

Today I assure you that our Triune God most certainly exists!  He is God the Father, Creator of the Universe. He is Jesus Christ the Son, Savior of our souls whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.  He is the Holy Spirit who dwells in all who believe.  You can read His true story in the Bible, from Creation to Jesus sacrificial death and resurrection, to His eminent return.  It is all true.

Yes, Virginia,  there really is Jesus!

Today’s TEA CUPP: My dear friend, regarding our Lord and Savior Jesus, I don’t want you to be scared or skeptical, only have faith and trust.  As my prayer has been for our son Joel since before he was born,  I pray that you will love and follow Jesus. Climb up in Jesus’ lap today and share your heart.

 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

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