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.

My Rockin’ Rock TEA

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

T for Thanksgiving: 

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

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

E for Exalting:

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

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

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

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

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

A for Admitting:

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

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

C for Calling:

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

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

U is for Understanding our story:

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

P is for Promises:

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

P is for Petitioning:

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

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

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 (NKJV)

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

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

Edward Mote, ca.1834

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

 

God is so Good!

Thank you to my friends Donna and Wendy and the Forest Service for these great photos!

He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields. Job 5:10
(NKJV)

In Montana we had a miracle these past few weeks.  For two months we had smoke and fires.  Then God sent rain and snow to put them out!  The next week He sent more rain and snow, just to make sure there weren’t any more hot spots.  God is so good!

Usually we have the bluest sky in all the world here in Montana.  It really is the Big Sky State, with a sky that for me stretches from the Beartooth Mountains to the Absarokas to the Crazies and beyond.  But on July 17, my parents came to visit and suddenly it was hazy. I remember, because we always want it to be beautiful for our family and visitors.  But the Crazy Mountains just weren’t as clear any more.

The smoke persisted for two months as over a million acres of Montana forests and ranch lands burned.  Firefighters worked nonstop to contain the flames.  High temperatures and drought conditions kept the blazes going. It seemed that every time there were storm clouds, we would get the lightning, not the rain, as if someone was praying Psalm 144:

Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter them… Psalm 144:5 (NKJV)

The second week of September it was 90 degrees and a new fire broke out from a lightning strike at the north end of the Crazy Mountains.  From our house we could see the plume of smoke going up to the sky.  Friends’ husbands were going out to fight the flames.  People were posting on Facebook, “Pray for snow!”

And guess what, God sent rain and snow!!!  He really does answer prayers!  When the storm lifted we had blue skies again and snow covering our long-hidden Crazy Mountains.  The doxology was my prayer as I took in this beautiful sight, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above the heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”

Alleluia!  Jesus answers prayers!  I bet our friends in the south affected by the hurricanes have awesome stories of  God’s goodness, too!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Let’s praise Jesus for how He has provided for us, carried us through the storm, protected us and answered our prayers!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)

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

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.

The Creator of the Universe, My Friend

…Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.  James 2:23 (NKJV)

How can it be that the Creator of the universe would want to meet with me each morning for TEA?  Every once in a while I ponder this while gazing out my morning window at His creation, the flowers blooming in our garden and the snow-capped mountains on the horizon.  Yet then I resolve to simply believe, to believe that a mortal human can be friends with the one true God.

But this isn’t just for me, it is true for you, too, my TEA CUPP friend.  Jesus has invited us to a banquet and wants you there (Song of Solomon 2:4)!  He is knocking at the door of your heart and longs for you to open and let Him in (Revelation 3:20).  The Lord doesn’t want anyone left out to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He is patiently waiting while beckoning, “Come.” (Isaiah 55:1)

Let’s look at a Bible character as an example.  Abraham was a friend of God.  When the Lord came by in Genesis 18, Abraham insisted on inviting the Lord and His companions to stay for tea (a real English tea with dinner!).  Following Abraham’s hospitality, the Lord gave him a blessing, the promise of a baby.  But it didn’t stop there.  The Lord stayed to visit with Abraham and tell him His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  Since Abraham’s nephew Lot lived there, Abraham didn’t just accept this information, he asked questions so that Lot could be spared from destruction.

Can we do the same as Abraham?

  • Invite Jesus to TEA
  • Let the Lord give us a blessing
  • Ask God questions

But that was in the Old Testament and Abraham was an old man, you say?  How about a New Testament lady having TEA with Jesus?!  Let’s look at just one more Bible character, the Samaritan Woman at the Well.  This story is recorded in John 4.  Once again we see the Lord showing up at tea time.  Jesus asked the woman for some water to drink and she peppered Him with questions.  Jesus gave her the blessing of His Living Water and proceeded to tell her story, everything she’d ever done.  And the woman went and told all the people in town!

Today’s TEA CUPP: These were everyday people having TEA with Jesus. If they can meet with Jesus, so can we. Read Genesis 18 and John 4 the next few days.  Claim the Lord as your TEA time friend.  Let God give you a blessing and ask Him lots of questions!

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 (NKJV)

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

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

 

Tea with Timothy

My TEA CUPP PrayersAll Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

Today I invite you to tea with Jesus, using words from the books of 1 & 2 Timothy in the New Testament.  These verses are the inspired words of God given to the Apostle Paul.  Paul wrote these to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy.  Paul’s letters are also for us and we may pray them as we spend time with Jesus today.

T is for Thanksgiving
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. 1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day.  2 Timothy 1:3 (NKJV)


E is for Exalting
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)

 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

…He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 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 6:15-16 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV)

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJV)

 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 (NKJV)

C is for Calling
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18 (NKJV)

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:11-12(NKJV)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NKJV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8(NKJV)

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! 2 Timothy 4:18 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions (Pouring out my heart)
  …Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2 (NKJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:22 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  As you spend time in prayer today, let God have the first Word as you read passages from 1 & 2 Timothy.  Then use these verses as conversation starters as you pour out your heart to Jesus in prayer. Join Jesus with Timothy for TEA!

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