Let the Children Come to Me

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

I’ve been wrestling with this verse lately. For so long it has been one of my favorite verses, part of my calling to homeschool our children and to teach preschool Sunday school, sharing Jesus with God’s littlest ones.  Yet lately I’ve come to understand it could have other interpretations.

Two days before my granddaughter was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with cancer, we had an earnest discussion at my Bible study. Our study book shared the testimony of a mom who had lost her three-year-old daughter to a sudden illness.  One of our ladies asked if that little girl was in heaven.  Our leader replied, “Most certainly.”  

Just that morning I had been reading my daily Bible reading which included the verse above from Matthew 19:14.  I had studied the notes in my John MacArthur study Bible and felt God urging me to share them.  MacArthur explained how God’s mercy is graciously extended to the “infants” who are not yet capable of belief.  In His great mercy, He grants them entrance into heaven.  We see this example when King David’s first son with Bathsheba died.  In 2 Samuel 12:23, King David proclaimed:

…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

King David knew the hope and promise of seeing his baby again in heaven.  It reminded me of the book called Heaven is for Real, where a little boy was so sick he went to heaven and saw Jesus with many children, including his own sister! I also rejoice in knowing that the babies we lost are waiting for us in heaven, and I shared this joy with the other ladies. 

But then came the news about our granddaughter, so soon after this discussion, and I said, “NO!!!!!!!”  You can not have this little one yet!  Maybe in 80 years, but not now!”  Though I know she could be happy and dancing with Jesus and her younger siblings and aunts, and not have to endure more cancer treatments or the rough teen years or any heartache, I don’t want that for her parents.  I want them to have the joy of raising their daughter and I want to share in that joy.  

And so, as Kennedy continues to endure chemo treatments and pains, I cry out like the father in Heaven is for Real, “No!!! Is this how you treat your prayer warriors?! Please heal her, O God, I pray! (Num. 12:13) Hear my cry, O God, attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:1-2). Heal our Kennedy Grace. Amen.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read how Jesus welcomed the children in Matthew 19:13-15.  What are these verses telling you? What young children in your life can you welcome in Jesus’ Name?  

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (NKJV)

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

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

My Healing TEA

And as many as touched Him were made well. Mark 6:56 (NKJV)

As our world is turned upside down by coronavirus, what our world needs, what our nation needs, what our granddaughter needs, what I need…is a CUPP of Healing TEA!  Today I share with you verses you can pray as you pour out your heart to the Lord for our nation and world and your family and friends.  Prayer and Jesus are the answers to all we need.

T is for Thanksgiving

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  John 9:2-3 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Take heed in an outbreak of leprosy, that you carefully observe and do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you; just as I commanded them, so you shall be careful to do. Deuteronomy 24:8 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings… Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I’ve been needing this Healing TEA a lot lately. Perhaps you would like a CUPP, too? Pour your favorite morning mug, open your Bible and prayer journal, use these verses to pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer. What are your favorite healing verses?

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Jesus Calm the Storm, My Lazarus TEA, Tea in the Storm, and When the TEA Spills.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  Love, Jennifer Grace

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid; only believe.  Mark 5:36 (NKJV)

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

Are Ye Able?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 (NKJV)

“Are Ye Able, said the Master…”  This old hymn has been running through my head for over a month after I read the above scripture in my Bible in January.  I was curious as to what day I started humming this tune, and flipped back through my journal to locate the verse. I was very surprised when I found out the exact day.

I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklets.  On January 31, the New Testament reading was from Matthew 20:17-34.  In this passage, the mother of Jesus’ disciples James and John came to Him to request her sons sit beside Jesus in His kingdom.  Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink…?” 

As I read this, my mind immediately went to the old hymn by Earl Marlatt (1925).  The first verse cries out:

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

That morning, before the day began, I wrote Matthew 20:22 in my prayer journal along with this short prayer, “O Jesus, I want to be able. Please make me able by Your great power and Holy Spirit.” And I wrote the last verse and chorus of this great hymn:

“Are ye able?” Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

“Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.” (Marlatt, 1925)

Later that very morning, while doing home school with my son Joel, I happened to glance at my phone (which I usually ignore during home school) and noticed this text from my daughter Kallie about our granddaughter, “We are in an ambulance on our way to Milwaukee. They think Kennedy has pneumonia.” 

But it was not pneumonia, it was something much worse, cancer, T-cell Lymphoma in a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.  And I cried out to the Lord, “No!”  And, “I’m not able!”  And, “Take me, not our precious granddaughter.”  I wanted to collapse in a puddle of tears, and sometimes I do, following Jesus’ example in John 11:35.

But I’ll tell you who has been able…little Kennedy and her parents.  Kennedy has endured more pokes and pains in a month than most people have in a lifetime.  Her mom and dad have taken this in stride and encouraged Kennedy and trusted their doctors, where I would be falling apart.  Thank you, Jesus, for making them able.

We don’t get to choose our stories or trials, this is the one we get to walk through today.  And so I pray again, “Lord, make me able. Help me be a strong grandma for Kennedy and fight this battle on my knees in prayer. Help me be a beacon to all who are going through trials. Please heal our sweet Kennedy.”  

“Please heal her, O God, I pray!” Numbers 12:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Perhaps you are not feeling able to face what is happening in your life today.  Pray to Jesus for help.  Claim all His promises.  He will make us able and see us through even this. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

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

“Get a Cookie, too!”

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

Last week we were visiting our little granddaughter, Kennedy Grace, who is undergoing chemotherapy for T-cell Lymphoma.  Kennedy spends most of her time resting on the sofa, but every once in awhile she is up for a story or game.  She has a way of closing her eyes and appearing to be asleep and then suddenly joining in the conversation around her. 

One afternoon, her Daddy, Reed, said, “Kennedy, I’m going to the store to get you a Valentine, the biggest one I can find.”  Kennedy’s reply was, “Can you please get me a cookie, too? A Valentine cookie?”  And her Daddy answered, “Yes, Kennedy, I will get you a cookie.” 

This reminded me so much of a Bible story in Joshua 15:19.  Achsah. the daughter of Caleb, after receiving land from her father, instead of just saying, “Thank you,” asked for more!  She petitioned, “…give me also springs of water.”  The Bible tells us that Caleb did, “So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”  You can read the story again in Judges 1:15.

What I notice from these stories is how much the daddies love their little girls, how the daughters don’t even hesitate to ask their daddies for more, and how quickly the daddies are to say, “Yes” to their daughters’ simple requests.  Wow, can we do this with our heavenly Daddy, too? Yes, we can!

In fact, Kennedy already knows this.  My daughter Kallie tells me that when they say their night time prayers, Kennedy adds at the end, “And take away my icky medicine.”  I say, “AMEN!” to that!

And so I also pray for MORE for my dear granddaughter, not just that Jesus will heal her and make her feel better and give Kennedy and her family strength and peace for each day,  but also that Jesus, the Healing God, our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe and all our bodies, Yehovah Rapha, will remove this cancer completely from Kennedy in the Name of Jesus Christ; that by God’s mighty power the enemy who causes cancer in little children is cast into utter darkness; and that many are brought closer to the throne of God and glorify His Name because of this trial.  Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Be like Caleb’s daughter and ask for more. Check out these Bible verses today…Judges 1:15, John 16:24, and Mark 11:24.  What more can you be asking of the Lord? 

If you enjoyed today’s devotions, you might also like to read Valentine Cookies and  Bold Ladies and When the TEA Spills and M&M Prayers.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. Love, Jennifer Grace

 So she said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. Judges 1:15 (NKJV)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24 (NKJV)

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

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

When the TEA SPILLS

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 (NKJV)

My TEA spilled again.  Not just a drip on my blouse, or a splash on my jeans, or a puddle on the counter, but gallons of tea all over as the bottom dropped out of my life.  Our granddaughter, the joy of our hearts, Kennedy Grace, was diagnosed with cancer, T-cell Lymphoma. 

Leave it to the enemy to pick on the smallest member of the family.  Kennedy is just short of 4 years old.  Our daughter Kallie took her to the doctor with a cough and they found a huge mass covering her chest cavity, pushing on her heart and lungs.  Doctors began chemo the next day.  In a single moment, Kennedy’s world, her mom and dad’s world, our world and the lives of all who love this little girl were changed forever. 

My husband and I spent the first day fasting and praying for dear Kennedy. The following day. I “just happened” to open My TEA CUPP Prayers book, which I’ve been re-reading since the beginning of the year, to the PETITIONS section.  There I read Psalm 142:1, “I cry out to the Lord with my voice…” and I saw the prayer for my little friend Emma who had cancer.  Every place it said “Emma,” I wrote in “Kennedy.”  I turned the page and read “Take this cup” and cried out to Jesus to take away this cup from Kennedy, Kallie, Reed and all of us.  I claimed Jesus’ promise from Matthew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  I turned the page again and read Psalm 142:2 “I pour out my complaint before Him…”  and pleaded for the life of our precious Kennedy.  I added Kennedy to the healing body picture.  I cried out with my favorite Psalm of tears, Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth I will cry to You…” As I kept turning pages,  I  underlined, “Why would I plead with Him for the life of a young boy with cancer? Why would I wrestle for my children?” And I wrestled with God in prayer as Jacob did with the Angel.  And I claimed all the healing promises.  Over and over again, I pleaded and plead with Jesus for Kennedy. 

We went to church and I wrestled with the current sermon series from James where we were told to count it all joy when you fall into various trials (James 1:2). I don’t want to count it all joy, Jesus!  We sang hymns.  Tears ran down my face I as we sang, “In the good times and bad, You are on the throne, You are God alone.” 

And I think about how this little girl has touched my life since her birth and baptism and amens and the joy she brings to so many.  I remember how in every prayer my husband prayed this past fall for Kennedy, he asked for God to protect her.  Is this His way of protecting her from something worse?

And I worry that my family is a target because of my ministry and plead with God to guard them all with His angels.  And He tells me, this was not because of your ministry, your ministry is because of this.  Children everywhere need our prayers.  And God knew that someday I would face the worse heartache of my life, and I would need to be prepared to battle for my dear granddaughter on my knees in prayer.  And so I keep praying.

Last summer I spoke for a lovely TEA at a Baptist Church in Billings, Montana.  The title of my talk was, “When the TEA spills.”  I told the ladies that we all have this cup called life, and sometimes we get bumped or jostled and the tea spills a bit.  Towards the end of my talk, I exhorted the ladies…

“When you leave here today, more tea will spill. That’s just the way this world is ever since Adam and Eve gave in to satan and ate the apple, causing the first blood to be shed for sins when God made them animal skin clothing. We live in a fallen world where tea spills almost every day.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33…In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” How will you deal with your tribulations?”

Our precious Savior Jesus prayed before He went to the cross…

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”  Luke 22:42

We too can pray this petition when the tea is spilling from our cups faster than we can refill it…when you are having a day like Job where you lose everything at once, when your daughter emails she’s having another miscarriage, when your son has a mysterious disease, when your GRANDDAUGHTER gets cancer, when your health is failing, when you  lose your job, when your marriage is struggling, when sorrows like sea billows roll…you can pray this petition, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;, nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.”

And Jesus will take your cup and carry your burden for you and replace your cup with sweet tea once again, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

We have so many things to praise Jesus for…we had the joy of visiting our granddaughter at the hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and staying at the Ronald McDonald House next door. There we met so many other children and families in need of prayer. So many caring doctors and nurses took care of our granddaughter. Kennedy went from being hooked up to all kinds of tubes to going home nine days after she was admitted!  Jesus shrunk the mass in her chest so she can breathe again.  She’s had three chemo treatments so far and will have more over the next two years. Kennedy is surrounded by loving family and friends.  But she has bad tummy aches and wants to feel better. Please keep praying for our precious Kennedy. 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Don’t wait for the TEA to spill to begin your daily TEA time with Jesus.  Now is the time to have a regular quiet time with the Lord, where  you read your Bible and talk to Him in prayer.  Pray for all the children who need Jesus’ healing.  And when the day comes when the bottom falls out of your own cup, you will know just where to go for help…to Jesus.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:1-2

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

From the Lips of Children

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength… Psalm 8:2 (NKJV)

All mothers must have their endearing stories of things their children say about God and Jesus.  When our Kevin was just three-and-one-half-years old, he was full of questions about God and Jesus and everything…

  • “Daddy, why did God give us lungs?”
  • “Daddy, why did God make the mountains?”
  • “Mommy, why did Jesus have to die for our sins?”

And once he had the information set in his own mind, Kevin pondered it.  Then, when we were in the car on our hour drive to town, Kevin would break into song about all he knew.  He began with a familiar tune and then added his own lyrics…

  • “Jesus loves me, this I know
  • For the Bible tells me so…
  • And Jesus died on a cross
  • For all the bad things.
  • Then He rose up…
  • And God made the mountains
  • And God made the trees
  • And God made our bodies and hearts
  • And Jesus lives in my heart
  • And Jesus loves Mommy
  • And Jesus loves Daddy
  • And Jesus loves me
  • And Jesus loves all the children of the world!”

I could just see the angels smiling and rejoicing as our Lord heard little Kevin singing, for from the lips of children and infants He has ordained praise!  And this week our big Kevin heads back to college for his spring semester, after attending a Campus Crusade Conference over his break.  And I believe Jesus is still smiling. Keep turning the world upside down for Jesus, Kevin!

...Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have perfected praise. Matthew 21:16 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  How can we join the children in exalting Jesus?  As you read Psalm 8 and other Psalms today, underline favorite verses, marking the ones for exalting the Lord with an “E.”  Then use these verses in your prayer time to praise God!

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 (NJKV)

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you will want to read my new book, Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers.  Click here to read more!

Claiming Christmas Promises

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)

Merry Christmas, dear TEA friends!  Today I have the gift of promises from God’s Word for you.  These promises all come from the Christmas story in our Bibles.  Consider each promise a present for you to unwrap today and always. No matter what your circumstances, you can claim these as your very own…

For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37 (NKJV)

…your prayer is heard Luke 1:13 (NKJV)

He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.  Luke 1:15-16 (NKJV)

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17 (NKJV)

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30 (NKJV)

And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:33 (NKJV)

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45 (NKJV)

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. Luke 1:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Pour a pot of these precious Christmas promises today.  Pick your favorite and write it in your prayer journal, on a note card on your bathroom mirror, or in a Christmas card to a friend.  Claim this promise to carry you into the new year.  Tell Jesus all about it in your quiet time with Him today. Merry Christmas, dear TEA friend!

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

Christmas Must Be Pro-Life

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 (NKJV)

If anyone doubts that life begins at conception, she must read the Christmas story. For in Luke 1, two incredible ladies learn they are miraculously pregnant. First Elizabeth in her old age conceives the baby John the Baptist.  Half a year later, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceives the baby Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Soon after Mary hears of her calling, she goes with haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is already six months pregnant. As Mary enters Elizabeth’s house, the baby John inside of Elizabeth leaps for joy!  He is so excited that His Savior, the baby Jesus inside of Mary, has entered the room.  Both babies are very much alive, yet still inside their mothers, growing and waiting to be born.  Life does not begin at birth, it begins at conception when God starts knitting this precious person.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Even the great Bible prophets and teachers knew this.  Jeremiah from the Old Testament proclaimed…

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

And the Apostle Paul from the New Testament related…

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace. Galatians 1:15 (NKJV)

So why is there all this confusion about when life begins? Because the enemy aims to confuse us and to make us doubt and even to kill.  Like the Herods of Jesus’ day, there are still Herods today who want to destroy babies while Rachel still weeps for her children (Matthew 2:16-18). But we have a Savior who makes it clear in His word.  He tells us to choose LIFE (Deut. 30:19).  And for those who have made wrong choices, and for all of us sinners, Jesus offers His forgiveness and promise of eternal life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1-2.  See how God blessed the whole world through these babies.  None of us knows the amazing plans God has for our little ones.  Choose life! 

Please join me in praying for babies in America and around the world to be saved.  Also, pray for special blessings on foster parents and adoptive parents.  Do something special for one of these families this Christmas.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

 

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

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

 

 

Our Thanksgiving Chain

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-3 (NKJV)

One of my favorite Thanksgiving devotions from my new book, Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers, is an activity I’ve shared over the years with you, a Thanksgiving chain.

The first part of the TEA CUPP is “T” is for Thanksgiving. It’s eternally important for moms to model thankfulness to our children, so here is a project to help you do just that.  This thankfulness activity will carry your family from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas.

First, count the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas on your calendar (this year it’s only 27 days). Next, cut out that many strips of colored paper, approximately one-inch by six inches. Grab your Bible, the paper strips, some markers, and a stapler, and gather the family around your kitchen table.

Read a Psalm of Thanksgiving, such as Psalm 136.
● Talk about things for which you are thankful.
● Divide the strips of paper between all family members.
● Everyone can use markers to write blessings on their paper strips. Older family members may assist younger family members.
● When everyone is finished, mix up the paper strips. Curl one strip into a circle and staple it. Run another strip through the first circle and staple it to itself. Continue stapling strips until you have a long chain of circles.
● Hold the chain around the table and let family members read the items together as you thank Jesus.
● Hang the chain on a nail in the kitchen so you can see how many days until Christmas.
● Each morning at breakfast, let one person tear off the bottom link of the chain. Say a prayer of thanks again for whatever is listed on that slip of paper.
● Each day the chain will get shorter until it’s Christmas.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Plan to do this activity with your family at Thanksgiving. Talk with your kids about God’s blessings. Some families keep a thankful jar. Every time they find something for which they are thankful, a blessing, answered prayer, etc., they write it on a slip of paper and put it in the thankful jar. He’s blessed us so much we can’t even name them all.

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

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Where are the other Nine?

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16

One of my favorite thanks devotions from my first book, My TEA CUPP Prayers, comes from the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17. The lepers were shunned members of society, ones who must have desired more than anything else to be healed and welcomed back into the community. The ten lepers had just been hollering at Jesus, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

Jesus told them to go to the priests, and as they were going they were cleansed. But only one remembered to come back and praise God and give Jesus thanks. So Jesus answered and said,

“Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” Luke 17:17

Don’t you think Jesus still asks that today? Where are the other nine? WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? For what have you prayed recently that God heard and answered your prayers? Was it a safe trip home? Was it a check in the mail? Was it healing for a loved one? What blessings has He sent our way before we even asked? Oh, let us run back to Him and throw ourselves at Jesus’ feet and give Him thanks!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Remember, the first “T” in TEA CUPP is for Thanksgiving. Read the story of the ten lepers again in Luke 17:11-19. Have you forgotten to thank Jesus for anything? Ask Jesus to open your eyes to any overlooked blessings. Tell Jesus THANK YOU today!

What are some things I’m especially thankful for this year?  Jesus, God’s Word, my family, miraculous healing, a new grandbaby on the way, strength to run a marathon, publishing my second book, Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers, and for you, my dear TEA CUPP friend. Thank you for reading my devotions and accepting Jesus’ invitation to have TEA with Him each day.

 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

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