My Glorified Rice Salad

Glorify the Lord with me;
    Let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

Contemplating a way to celebrate the 4th of July from our pop-up camper while serving something yummy our special diets could handle, I remembered this old favorite from church potlucks. I couldn’t quite find the perfect recipe, so I made modifications and came up with My Glorified Rice Salad. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, no added sugar and seems to agree with our mold-affected tummies. I hope you will enjoy this healthier version at your next summer picnic. God bless you and God bless America and may His name be glorified in all the earth!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked organic jasmine rice
  • 1 – 20 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice, organic if you can find it, chilled
  • 1 – 13.5 oz. can organic coconut cream, chilled
  • 1-10 oz. bag frozen organic sweet cherries
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1 cup organic walnuts, chopped
  • 10 droppers liquid stevia.  
  • 2-4 bananas, sliced

Directions:

Put rice in a pot on the cook-stove with 3 cups water and a dash of salt.  Cover loosely and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Remove rice pot from heat, fluff with fork, and allow to cool.  Add the crushed pineapple, coconut cream, sweet cherries, blueberries, walnuts and stevia.  Mix gently, cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add the sliced bananas and stir again.  Decorate with extra cherries or blueberries. You may substitute other fruits you have on hand.  Happy celebrating!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    The people He chose for His inheritance.  Psalm 33:12 (NIV)

Thank you for visiting My TEA CUPP Prayers.  You may also enjoy reading devotions in My TEA CUPP Prayers for Our Nation. 

Scripture from Holy Bible New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.

4:7 Petitions . . . For Whatever Reason

. . . for whatever reason we may call upon Him . . . Deuteronomy 4:7 (NKJV)

I love the New King James Version of Deuteronomy 4:7. It says that for whatever reason we may call upon the Lord. For whatever reason! You lost your car keys? Call upon the Lord; He knows where they are. You received a concerning report from the doctor? Call upon the Lord; He is Yehovah Rapha, our Healing God. Your children aren’t following Him? Call upon the Lord; He is their Creator who knit them together in your womb, the Author of their faith who wrote their stories. You are homeless? Call upon the Lord; He is Yehovah Jireh our Provider, the Lord Jesus who is going to prepare a place for us. Trouble with a friend? Call upon the Lord Jesus who knows what it’s like to be rejected. You lost a loved one? Call upon the Lord, our great Comforter. You don’t know where to turn? Call upon the Lord and He will make straight your path.

“For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?” Deuteronomy 4:7 (NKJV)

Those who have been following My TEA CUPP Prayers for awhile now know how much I love to use God’s Word in my prayers. To avoid vain repetitions, I will often take a verse from my daily Bible reading to use in prayer. The last P of the TEA CUPP is for Petitions where we pour our hearts out to Jesus. As you call upon the Lord for whatever reason, today I’d like to show you the many ways you might present those petitions to the Father using His Word. Though “please bless” and “I pray for” are wonderful ways to share your heart with the Lord, here are a sampling of other ways you might begin your prayers:

  • Arise for . . . (Psalm 10:12, 68:1)

  • Awake to . . . (Psalm 59:4; Isaiah 51:9)
  • Carry . . . (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11)
  • Come to . . . (Psalm 101:2, 119:77)
  • Deal with . . . (Psalm 109:21, 119:124)
  • Defend . . . (Psalm 20:1, 59:1)

  • Deliver . . . (Psalm 59:1, 60:5; 2 Peter 2:9)

  • Do not forsake . . . (Psalm 38:21, 71:9)

  • Do not pass on by . . . (Genesis 18:3)
  • Forgive . . . (Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 23:34)
  • Give . . . (Numbers 27:4; Psalm 2:8)

  • Give ear . . . (Psalm 5:1, 80:1)
  • Grace be with . . . (Acts 4:33; Revelation 22:21)
  • Guide . . . (Psalm 32:8, 48:14)
  • Have mercy on . . .  (Matthew 15:22, 20:31)
  • Hear and see . . . (Isaiah 37:17; Luke 10:24)
  • Help . . . (Psalm 60:11, 109:26)
  • Hold . . . 
(Psalm 73:23, 94:18, 119:117, 139:10)
  • How long . . . (Psalm 80:4, 89:46)
  • I ask . . . (Matthew 7:7; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15)
  • I beg You earnestly for . . . (Mark 5:23; Luke 7:4)
  • I call for . . . (Genesis 4:26; Psalm 91:15)
  • I cast . . . (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7)

  • I come to You for . . . (Matthew 11:28, 24:3)
  • I cry for . . . (Psalm 61:1, 77:1, 88:1-2, 88:13, 107:28) 

  • I implore You to . . . (Psalm 116:4; Luke 9:38)
  • I petition for . . . (Esther 7:3; Psalm 20:5)
  • I pour . . . (Psalm 62:8; Isaiah 26:16)
  • I pray for . . . (Exodus 33:13; James 5:13)

  • I request for . . . (Romans 1:10; Philippians 4:6)
  • I want You to . . . (Psalm 23:1; Matthew 20:32)
  • I will not let You go unless you bless . . . (Genesis 32:26; Psalm 67:1)
  • It is time for . . . (Psalm 119:126, Revelation 1:3)
  • Look upon . . . (2 Samuel 16:12, Psalm 119:132)
  • Make haste to . . . (Psalm 38:22, 40:13, 70:1)

  • Preserve . . . (Psalm 16:1, 64:1)

  • Remember . . . (Nehemiah 13:14; Psalm 106:4; Luke 23:42)
  • Restore . . . (Psalm 60:1, 80:3, 85:4)

  • Return to . . . (Psalm 6:4, 90:13)
  • Save . . . (Psalm 106:47, 108:6; Matthew 8:25)
  • Shelter . . . (Psalm 61:3-4, 143:9) 

  • Shine on . . . (Psalm 67:1, 80:1, 94:1, 119:135)

  • Strengthen . . . (Psalm 27:14, 68:28)

  • Take this cup from . . . (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42)
  • Turn to . . . (Psalm 25:16, 86:16)
  • Whistle for . . . (Isaiah 5:26; Zechariah 10:8)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I know you will find many more ways to share your heart with the Lord Jesus in prayer.  Try one of these petition-starters in your prayer journal today. We can conclude this list of petition prayer starters with another 4:7 verse:

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 1Peter 4:7 (NKJV)

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

My Resurrection TEA

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.  Philippians 3:10 (NKJV)

Many of the churches are celebrating Resurrection Sunday this weekend.  It is an interesting year because Passover isn’t until April 23rd.  So, those of us celebrating Passover and Yeshua (Jesus) as our Passover Lamb, won’t be celebrating His resurrection until Sunday, April 28th.  But truly, we should remember Jesus’ death and resurrection every day of our lives, because it is His life and death and rising that give us life and forgiveness and hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.  A dear friend of mine even takes communion every morning, thanking Yeshua for what He did on the cross.  A few times she’s invited me to join her over the phone. That was special!  As you celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this spring, I give you a Resurrection Tea based on Luke 24 to sip and pray.  God bless you, dear sister in Christ.  Jesus truly is risen indeed!  

T is for Thanksgiving

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

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

…Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people… Luke 24:19 (NKJV)

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. AmenLuke 24:52-53 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Luke 24:25 (NKJV)

And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Luke 24:38 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee. Luke 24:6 (NKJV)

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:47-48 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our Stories

Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.  Luke 24:31 (NKJV)

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:32 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”  Luke 24:36 (NKJV)

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.  John 5:28-29 (NKJV)

This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  John 6:39-40 (NKJV)

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  John 11:23 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning

But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with themLuke 24:29 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I love that Abba Father commanded Jesus to rise and He did! (John 10:18, 14:31). Read Luke 24 and 1Corinthians15:12-26 for an even greater picture of the resurrection.  Use all these verses this week as you have TEA with Jesus: Thanking Him for salvation; exalting Him for His glory; admitting your sins and asking to be washed clean by the blood He shed for you on the cross; listening for your part in His calling; understanding your story a little more; taking comfort in claiming His promises; and finally, inviting Jesus to abide with you and your family always.  Blessed Resurrection Day, dear sister in Christ!

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 1Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1Corinthians 15:20 (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)

 

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

Expecting the Suddenly

Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.  2 Chronicles 29:36 (NKJV)

A favorite pastor of mine, Pastor Tim Sheet of Oasis Church in Middletown, Ohio, says to “expect the suddenly.”  I’ve been wanting some suddenly. I’ve been hoping for some suddenly. I’ve been needing some suddenly.  I’ve been praying for some suddenly.  And one of these days, I know the suddenly will come.  As I was reading God’s Word in Luke the other day, this story jumped out at me as a suddenly: 

A man went to synagogue one Sabbath day just as he had faithfully done for years.  His steps were slow and his head was bent low as he trudged along the roadside, dragging his right foot in the loose gravel.  His silver hair waved in the breeze as his swollen body approached the busy house of worship.  He lifted his head to nod greetings to others, but no one took notice of him.  The poor man went inside and sat in his usual spot in the far back on the righthand side, thankful for a place to rest his painful body and weary soul.  He wondered if the message today would give him any hope?  Then, by surprise, a Light entered the synagogue.  It wasn’t that the door had been left open, but that the doorway and the Person standing in its midst both radiated light.  Of all the people in the room upon whom this Person might fix His gaze, He chose the tired man in the back-right corner.  With strength and light He glided straight to the drooping man; reaching out He held his hand, pulling him to his feet.  And with Words sweet as honey and pure as gold, He said, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” The man looked with wonder, hoping beyond hope that it was lawful. He kept silent, the lawyers kept silent, the pharisees kept silent.  So, the Person spoke again, taking the swollen man in both hands, He hugged him and healed him and let him go, saying, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”  The man stood straight and lifted his once swollen arms in praise!  “HalleluYAH!  Adonai heals!”  And he hugged his Savior and wept and thanked Him again and again.  (Luke 5:20, 14:1-6, author’s interpretation).

Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.  Daniel 10:10 (NKJV)

How is that for a suddenly?  That is what I’m awaiting: I’m expecting the suddenly. . .suddenly healed, suddenly home, suddenly salvation for loved ones, suddenly revival. . . and in the twinkling of an eye, suddenly our Savior comes!  HalleluYAH!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Expect the suddenly! This week when you attend church, expect the suddenly. This week when you say your prayers,  expect the suddenly.  This week when you have TEA with Jesus, expect the suddenly!

. . . And He took him and healed him, and let him go.  Luke 14:4 (NKJV)

O Jesus, You healed this dear man with dropsy without expensive doctor visits, without changing his diet, without asking him to list all his sins, without making him repeat Scripture promises for months.  It was immediate, it was a suddenly, it was for Your glory!  O Jesus, look down on all who need Your healing:________________.  In the mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the King of the Universe, we unbind these dear ones. O Jesus, Yeshua Messiah, Yehovah Rapha, Our Healing God, I claim Your promise of healing NOW! Do the suddenly NOW! Amen.  

Pray for sudden revival across America!!! 

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)

Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”  1 Kings 19:5 (NKJV)

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:3 (NKJV)

So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?  Luke 13:16 (NKJV)

Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Matthew 18:18 (NKJV)

Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly. Psalm 6:10 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

…And what is set on your table would be full of richness. Job 36:16

Here’s a special treat for your family or neighbors: Try this delicious pumpkin cake. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free and so very moist! Perhaps you will enjoy a slice while having afternoon tea with Jesus and friends. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups organic pumpkin puree, well-drained
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 5 eggs from pasture-raised happy chickens 🐓
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup Lily’s Chocolate chips

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a Bundt cake pan with coconut oil. In a big bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:  Flours, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In a second bowl, stir together the wet ingredients:  Pumpkin, coconut oil, honey or syrup, eggs, vanilla.  Form a hollow in the center of the dry ingredients bowl and pour in your wet ingredients. Stir well. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips.  Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt cake pan.  Bake cake in oven for 45-55 minutes, depending on the moistness of your pumpkin.

Remove pan from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes.  Using a plastic scraper, carefully loosen the cake from the inner and outer edges of the cake pan.  Place a plate on top of the pan and flip it over, causing the cake to land on the plate. Lift off the Bundt cake pan and let the cake cool completely before serving.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Notes: We use pumpkin from our garden that we have baked and pureed. It is often more moist than canned pumpkin from the store.  Decrease flour by 1/4-1/2 cup for canned pumpkin.  I baked this in a toaster oven in the little cabin where we are staying for the winter and it turned out perfectly! 🥰

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

Wake Up, Jesus!

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  Mark 4:38 (NKJV)

I was awake since 1 a.m., up since 3 a.m., reading my Bible, praying all my prayers, yet it was still dark.  I cried out, “I watch for you, Jesus, more than watchmen wait for the morning.  When will You come to answer my prayers? How long until soon?”  

Remembering the missionary pastor who visited our church, I cried “Wake-up, Jesus!” Pastor Samuel said we need to wake up Jesus in our churches.  He is sleeping in the stern of the boat.  “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” I cried again (Mark 4:38).

Do You not care my pains are extra sharp this morning?  Do You not care we are still homeless over a year after leaving our moldy home?  Do You not care that we spend all this time in Your Word and prayer and seek You with all our hearts and live for You each day?  Wake up, Jesus!   

Don’t you care what is going on in our nation and world?  They are fighting your dear land of Israel!  Evil people are trying to end our elections in America. They are still trying to kill people with vaccines.  “Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever” (Psalm 44:23).

…Awake to help me, and behold!
You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel,
Awake to punish all the nations;
Do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors… Psalm 59:4-5 (NKJV)

Babies are still dying everyday from abortion, families are falling apart, schools are teaching evil subjects.  Innocent people are being trafficked. Churches are going against Your Word.  Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God!  (Psalm 83:1)

I cry again, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!  (Psalm 80:1) Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the LordAwake as in the ancient days,In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent?  (Isaiah 51:9)

Then I decree, it will be like in Isaiah 33 and Psalm 78:  Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine  (Psalm 78:65).  “Now I will rise,” says the Lord“Now I will be exalted, Now I will lift Myself up (Isaiah 33:10).

Amen and Amen!  Let it be so!  Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Wake up Jesus with your prayers! Read the story of Jesus asleep on the boat in Mark 4:35-41 and Psalm 107:23-32. Claim God’s promise in Psalm 121:4 that He will never sleep again.  

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.  Psalm 121:4 (NKJV)

P.S. Dear one, God who created the sea can calm any storm on it.  And God who created you and me can calm any storm in our lives, too.  

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

The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.  Psalm 95:5 (NKJV)

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness.  Psalm 96:11 (NKJV)

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8 (NKJV)

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.  Proverbs 3:24 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

His Hand is Outstretched Still

…But His hand is stretched out still.Isaiah 5:25 (NKJV)

51 Years ago on this day, January 22, 1973, just eight days before my youngest brother was born, the supreme court of the United States of America made the tragic decision to allow abortions, the murder of babies, in the case of Roe vs. Wade.  On June 24, 2022, after decades of prayer and hard work on behalf of believers, the supreme court reversed that decision, giving the decision back to each state. And so the work continues in each state to protect babies and the prayer warriors pray on.  With sadness I heard this past year how one state where I used to live, Ohio, had enshrined abortion in its constitution.  Oh, Ohio, reverse this curse in the Name of Jesus!  Let us all continue to pray for precious babies everywhere.  

 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

January 22 is also recognized by many as Sanctity of Human Life Day, praying God will use for good a day that the enemy intended for evil. I declare that every day is a sanctity of human life day, For God says in His Word, choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19)!  He proclaims that every life is so precious that He sent His One and Only Son Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, to die for each of our sins (including the tragic sin of abortion) so that we can have eternal life with Him (and those babies) in heaven (John 3:16). And that little baby hand that rocked the world over 2000 years ago is outstretched still to help you with your babies, to forgive your sins, and to hold you in the palm of His hand.

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  Luke 1:51 (NKJV)

It has been less than a month since much of the world marked the birth of our Savior Jesus with the celebration of Christmas. A few years ago, I wrote a devotion entitled “Christmas Must Be Pro-Life.” Now my thoughts turn more to the Old Testament and our Jewish heritage for we have been grafted into Abraham’s tree.  I think of the babies born to Judah and Tamar in Genesis 28.  As Tamar was giving birth to her twins, a midwife tied a red string onto the baby who reached out his hand (Zerah), but then the other baby broke through and was actually born first (Perez) (Genesis 38: 27-30).  This Perez was in the lineage of Christ (one of Jesus’ ancestors). I imagine that when Jesus was born to Mary, His hand could have reached out first, then popped back in so He could be delivered headfirst. Because Jesus is both our scarlet thread baby and our breakthrough baby, making a way for us all to get to Abba Father in heaven.  Jesus provides His scarlet blood to wash away our sins and He is making breakthrough miracles even today (like the Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs. Wade!). Those baby hands that first reached out to Mary and Joseph, then reached out to heal the sick and lame, then reached out on a cross to die. Those blessed hands are outstretched still! 

Those mighty hands created the world and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   John 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt with signs and wonders to Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.  Deuteronomy 26:8 (NJKV)

Those mighty hands knocked down the walls of Jericho and used Joshua’s outstretched arm to defeat the people of Ai, conquering the Promised Land. 

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city… Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.  Joshua 8:18 & 26 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands heard the prayers of King Solomon when he dedicated the temple to our awesome God.

For they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this temple.  1 Kings 8:42 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands gave Isaiah this prophecy, we often hear at Christmas time:

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)

Have you read Isaiah 9 all the way to the end?  Over and over, Isaiah tells us …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:12) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:17) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:21) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 10:4). And before he concludes, Isaiah has many more promises for that Arm and Hand:

Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.  Isaiah 40:10 (NKJV)

The Lord has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.  Isaiah 52:10 (NKJV)

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.  Isaiah 59:1 (NKJV)

And the Psalmists loved those blessed Arms and Hands…

That Your beloved may be delivered,
Save with Your right hand, and hear me.  Psalm 60:5 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.  Psalm 73:23 (NKJV)

You have a mighty arm;
Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand.  Psalm 89:13 (NKJV)

The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.  Psalm 118:16 (NKJV)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save mePsalm 138:7 (NKJV)

His Hand is Outstretched Still for the babies. My youngest brother will turn 51 next week, but 63 million people will not be having birthdays this year, those babies whose lives were taken because of Roe vs. Wade.  If you are a mom of one of those babies, His hands are stretched out for you, dear one!  Those nail-scarred hands that hung on the cross for all the world are stretched out for you!  Be like Thomas and feel the holes in Jesus’ hands, claim the promise that His scarlet blood washes away all your sins, and let those hands carry you through today and all your tomorrows.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.  Matthew 19:14-15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Our Joshua, our Yeshua, our Jesus, has His hand outstretched still… reaching for us, fighting our battles, stretching out His hands and giving His life for us on the cross. Reach out and take hold of that everlasting hand, dear sister. There is a verse in Nehemiah 12:43 when they are dedicating the wall of Jerusalem that says, “…God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced…”  This is my prayer: May God make us all rejoice with great joy, all the women and children, mammas and babies, grandmas and grandchildren.  HalleluYAH!  Jesus is our salvation! His hands are outstretched still!  

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to help you,
And in His excellency on the clouds.
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
He will thrust out the enemy from before you,
And will say, ‘Destroy!’  Deuteronomy 33:26-27 (NKJV)

That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. Joshua 4:24 (NKJV)

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.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  John 20:27-28 (NKJV)

(See also Genesis 50:20, Exodus 13:3, Exodus 13:9, Exodus 13:14, Exodus 13:16, Deuteronomy 9:29. Psalm 20:6, Psalm 63:8, Psalm 74:11, Psalm 77:15, Psalm 136:12, Psalm 139:10, Psalm 144:7, Isaiah 14:27, Isaiah 51:5, Isaiah 53:1, Isaiah 62:8, Isaiah 63:5, Isaiah 65:2, Jeremiah 1:9, Matthew 14:31, Acts 13:11, Romans 8:28, Romans 10:21)

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

Another Pot of Precious Promises

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.  John 16:1 (NKJV)

God’s blessings to you on your new year, dear sister in Christ!  I hope your year is off to a good start.  Perhaps like me you woke up with a terrible cold on January 1 and thought all the new year’s hopes and resolutions had gone out the window!  But Jesus is merciful and healed my cold and gave me strength to press on and send my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, back to the publisher for the third time.  HalleluYAH!  All glory to Jesus!!! How I pray that it can be ready for you by Resurrection Sunday!  

Ten years ago, I wrote a short devotion called Pouring a Pot of Precious Promises, written on a day I came across several promises in my daily Bible reading.  As I was reading the book of John again in December, John 16 surprised me with many promises from Jesus, too.  I thought, “we will have to pour another pot of precious promises for the ladies!” 

I hope you’ll read John 16 for yourself and discover perhaps even more words that touch your heart.  John 16 came at a sad time for Jesus. He knew He would soon go to the cross to die for our sins.  (John 17 contains His last prayers for us all before He was betrayed).  Jesus knew His disciples would need the promises recorded in John 16.  If the disciples needed them then, I believe we also need these promises for 2024.

First, lets look at some of the not-happy promises…

  • The enemy will try to make us stumble (16:1).
  • The enemy will put us out of the churches (16:2).
  • The enemy will try to harm us (16:2).
  • We will have sorrow (16:20).
  • In the world we will have tribulation (16:33).
  • Somethings we can’t bear to hear now (16:12).

Do you find most of those promises are hard to hear? Me, too!  Let’s keep reading, because Jesus gives us His comforting promises:

  • He will send us a Helper, the Holy Spirit (16:7).
  • The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement — sounds like a great revival! (16:8).
  • The Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth (16:13).
  • The Holy Spirit will tell us things to come (16:13).
  • The Holy Spirit will glorify God’s Son Jesus (16:14) — that way we’ll know it’s the Holy Spirit!
  • In a little while we will see Jesus (16:16) — Oh, what a glorious Day!
  • Our sorrow shall be turned to JOY!  (16:20, 16:22).
  • Whatever we ask the Father in Jesus’ Name, He will give us (16:23).
  • The Father Himself loves us because we believe in His Son Jesus (16:27).
  • Jesus is our peace (16:33).
  • Be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world! (16:33).

Dear one, please be of good cheer, Jesus truly has overcome the world.  He already conquered death and the devil when God the Father raised Him from the grave on the third day. He opened the door of heaven for all who believe in His Name.  We can trust Him completely for He has a good, good plan.  

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Pour a pot of these precious promises in your teacup today, dear sister.  You will need them this coming year.  Read John 16 in your favorite Bible version. Then, write the most precious promises from your Bible in your prayer journal or on notecards on your bathroom mirror.  Keep reading His Word and holding onto Jesus’ promises every day!

p.s.  If you want to begin a new Bible reading plan this year, I’d like to recommend the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan.  I made some special bookmarks to use in this well-loved plan. 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  John 16:33 (NKJV)

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.  1Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  John 10:9 (NKJV)

 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.  Hebrews 2:14 (NKJV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.  Revelation 2:7 (NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting and Waiting Again


This time of year, my heart turns to my Daddy who passed from this life to heaven 6 years ago on this very day. And so, in honor of my Daddy, I re-run this Christmas devotion from a few years ago. This devotion and many others will be coming out Spring 2024 (God-willing!) in my next book, More Tea Cupp Prayers

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting can be hard. Families wait for Daddy (and sometimes Mommy) to come home from work. Children wait for birthdays and Christmas. Grandparents wait for grandchildren to visit. All of us wait for our prayers to be answered. We wonder what the delay could be. Why aren’t we getting our answers right NOW?!

Wait on your God continually. Hosea 12:6 (NKJV)

I remember how as a child I met my Daddy at the bus stop almost every afternoon. I would trudge up Fillmore Avenue a quarter of a mile and sit myself on a big rock, watching the traffic along 24th Street. Many cars, trucks, and buses would go by but not stop. Finally, the bus would come with my Daddy and I would hold his hand all the way home. One day, I looked at the clock wrong and went an hour early, waiting and waiting until I tearfully trudged home alone. When my Daddy finally arrived home, he wondered where I was that day, I told him the tearful story of my waiting. Sadly, I didn’t meet him so often after that.

I wonder, do we do the same thing with our prayers? Are we at the bus stop expecting answers too soon? Then, when the answers don’t come in our timing, we don’t meet with Jesus so often anymore?

I have waited for your salvation, O Lord! Genesis 49:18 (NKJV)

 Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1 (NKJV)

In the book of Daniel, we get a glimpse into what is happening while we are waiting on God. We might think the prayer-mail delivery service is slow this time of year, that FedEx is having a tough time keeping up with the prayer packages delivered to Heaven’s Throne room, often out late at night delivering prayers. 

But we can be assured that our prayers are not delayed! For the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26). And God hears our every prayer (John 9:31). So, what is the delay? In Daniel 10 we read how angels were dispatched to help Daniel the moment he started praying. But the enemy’s angels prevented help from arriving for three weeks! Up in the heavens, where we can’t even see, angels are fighting battles for us that we don’t even know, all because of our prayers (Ephesians 6:12).

Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. Daniel 10:12–13 (NKJV)

What are you waiting for today? Our family is currently waiting for healing and a home. It’s been over a year since mold was discovered in my body and in our rental house. I’ve cried out to the Lord every day for healing and a home (I wait for You, YHVH Rapha, YHVH Jireh). And I keep pressing on to fulfill His calling, even in my tears and pains.

I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psalm 69:3 (NKJV)

Today, I also wait for healing for our nation and an end to plagues and cancer, for healing for church friends, for dear ones to give their hearts to Jesus, and especially for Jesus to come again!

 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

You know who else is waiting? God! You remember the story of the prodigal son? Just as the father waited expectantly for the prodigal son to return, God waits expectantly for us. Jesus can’t come until the last person written in His Book of Life believes in Him. Perhaps you are the one to tell that person!

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.  Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the amazing story of Daniel’s prayers in Daniel 10. Keep praying and waiting, my friends. God is sending answers! Especially remember the Answer He sent to a stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)

 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!  
Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

 And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.  1Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV)

(See also Psalm 25:5, 33:20–21, 37:7, 37:34, 39:7, 40:1, 59:9, 62:5, 130:5–6; Isaiah 25:9, 26:8; Lamentations 3:25–26; Micah 7:7; Luke 2:25, 12:40; 1Corinthians 1:7; Hebrews 11:10; James 5:7–8; Revelation 10:6)

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



Yes, Mandy, there really is a Hell

 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

Our first summer in camping ministry, we had a potpourri of counselors from various church backgrounds.  One tall slim girl named Mandy grew up Lutheran and knew her Bible well.  As Mandy spoke with her campers during Bible study one week, the topic of hell came up. Mandy shared what she had learned from God’s Word.  When one of the campers went home, she told her parents, who told their pastor, who told the superintendent of camps at the head office, who called my husband to say our “counselors were not allowed to talk about hell since some churches don’t believe in it!” 

whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.  Matthew 5:22 (NKJV)

We were astounded!  Yet being new to camping ministry and young Christians ourselves, we encouraged the counselors to just keep the focus on Jesus in their Bible studies.  But if there is no hell, why does anyone need Jesus who came to save us from our sins so that we won’t go to hell?!!  Well, I can tell you, if we were in that situation again, we would pull out our Bibles and march down to the head office to show the leaders God’s Word.  And so, to paraphrase the famous line from the 1897 New York Sun editorial by the aptly named Francis Church, I reply, “Yes, Mandy, there really is a hell!  You were right all along!  Here is the proof I’ve found in God’s Word which does not lie.” Oh head office, know the truth and the truth will set you free!

The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget GodPsalm 9:17 (NKJV)

Perhaps the best Bible story depicting hell is found in Luke 16:19-31. Here we meet a very poor man named Lazarus (a different Lazarus than the one Jesus’ raised from the dead). This Lazarus suffered throughout his life.  When he died, he went to Abraham’s bosom (a picture of being held in heaven in the arms of God).  At the same time, a wicked wealthy man died and was sent to hell.  From hell, this rich man could see across a large chasm into heaven, where Lazarus was being comforted on Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man begged for Lazarus to bring him some water, but Abraham said, “No, you had the good things during your lifetime, and besides there is this big chasm that separates us.”  The rich man begged for Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family about hell, but Abraham replied, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” And so the rich man was left in hell to suffer for all eternity (Luke 16:19-31). It is interesting that Jesus raises another Lazarus from the dead in John 11! And were any persuaded by this miracle to repent?  

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  Psalm 139:8 (NKJV)

Oh, dear one, we don’t want this eternal torture for anyone, not our friends nor our family nor our worst enemies.  We want to bring them the Good News of God’s salvation through His only Son Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)!  We want to show them through the scriptures how Moses pointed to a Savior.  Jesus is the Seed to crush satan’s head Whom God promised Adam and Eve in Genesis. He is the Passover Lamb who died for our sins in Exodus.  He is our High Priest and the Law fulfilled in Leviticus.  He is the Prophet foretold in Deuteronomy.  He is the Captan of our salvation in Joshua. He is the One the psalmist declared is poured out like water for all the world. He is the One wounded for our transgressions in Isaiah. He is the 4th person walking in the fire in Daniel. He is the ruler from Bethlehem as told by Micah.  He is Jesus Christ, the baby born to the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  He is Yeshua Messiah, who bore our sins on the cross that all who believe in Him will escape hell, have our sins washed into the depths of the sea, and live eternally in heaven, with Lazarus on Abraham’s bosom!  (Genesis 3:15, Exodus 12:21, Leviticus 21:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53:5, Daniel 3:25, Micah 5:2,Micah 7:19,  Luke 2:7, Luke 2:12, 1Peter 2:24,  Pastor Tim Sheets, “Knowing Him,” Oasis Church, November 26, 2023).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Job 33:23-30  and Jude 24-25 and see there is HOPE! Jesus is our Mediator, the One who keeps us from the pit!  Jesus’ blood He shed for us on the cross washes us clean so that we can be in heaven with Him for all eternity. Our citizenship is in heaven!  Make your salvation certain today by calling on Jesus and confessing your sins. Rejoice in our great hope, dear one!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

Hell and Destruction are before the Lord;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men. Proverbs 15:11 (NKJV)

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.  Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

If you’d like to learn more, you might enjoy reading We still need the Key and It is Finished and Leave no Doubt and My Dear Loved One. 

 …and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  John 20:28-29 (NKJV)

(See also Deuteronomy 32:22, Job 21:30, Job 26:6, Psalm 11:6, Psalm 21:9, Psalm 73:18-19, Psalm 140:10, Proverbs 1:12, Proverbs 5:5, Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 27:20, Proverbs 15:24,  Proverbs 20:26, Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 14:19, Daniel 12:2, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 13:24-49,  Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:33, Matthew 24:29-51, Matthew 25:30-46, Mark 9:42-48,  Luke 3:17, Luke 12:5, John 5:22-30, John 5:46-47, John 8:32, 2Thessalonians 1:8-9, 2Peter 2:4-11, 2Peter 2:17, James 3:6, Jude 23, Revelation 20:15)

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.  Ezekiel 31:15-17 (NKJV)

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