About Jennifer Grace

Jennifer Grace is an author, speaker, blogger, homeschool mom, grandma, Sunday school teacher, tutor, but most of all, God's child and prayer warrior. She lives with her husband and children in south central Montana, where she enjoys running and scrapbooking, hobbies that always lend themselves to more prayer.

Lifting Hands in Praise

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Nehemiah 8:6 (NKJV)

Today I want to share with you my “Lifting Hands” story. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church where beautiful organ music, a talented choir, and often a university orchestra accompanied every hymn. The congregation stood solemnly, singing the traditional songs from the hymnal. You could sing as loudly as you wanted because the organ would drown-out any wrong words or off-key notes. But you would never think of moving as you stoically clasped your hymnal like the rest of the congregation.

When I met Jesus in college, I attended a group called the Baptist Student Union. A few of the students there would lead us in singing, one playing the guitar and others leading the choruses. I realize now that all the songs we sang were Bible verses, for when I read those verses today, the BSU songs immediately come to mind and I hum them the rest of the day. The words were cast on the wall with an overhead projector and we were free to sit or stand and bump arms with our friends.

From there I went to work at a Lutheran summer camp where God’s Word and songs became more alive for me. I learned songs with actions that kept the campers and counselors active. We sang tunes like “Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Oh, baby, let my people go!” while doing the actions of an Egyptian hieroglyphic. We sang “Jesus is real, He’ll never fail,” while casting an imaginary fishing rod into the lake and reeling it in. And, of course, we learned to “march in the infantry” and “ride in the Calvary” and “shoot the artillery” and “soar over the enemy” because we were in the Lord’s army! Singing to Jesus became a fun time of laughing and movement.

My first job after graduation was teaching sixth grade at a Lutheran Day School where I was also required to join the Lutheran Church. There we learned and enjoyed the singing liturgy of the Lutherans, the good old hymns, and the joy of being in a congregation filled with children. The Day School held a service every Thursday morning. Once a month they recognized the children who had been baptized during that month with a song that runs through my head yet today… we are baptized, I am baptized, we have passed through the waters and that’s all that matters, I have passed through the waters, oh thanks be to God! Yet still we sang traditional hymns as we stood in the pews.

When we moved to a new town, we joined a Methodist Church because my husband had grown-up Methodist. It was also a traditional church, but without the singing liturgy. A dedicated choir marched up the center aisle every Sunday in their red robes, inspiring us all to join them in praising the Father. As I juggled young children and a hymn book, I tried to join them in singing. It was truly a Spirit-filled congregation, for there we often sang, “Here I am, Lord, is it I Lord,? I have heard You calling in the night, I will go, Lord, if You lead me, I will hold Your people in my heart.” We received our calling into church camp ministry and they laid hands on us, praying and sending us forth.

From there, our family moved to a United Methodist Church camp. Our first summer, we had only a handful of counselors and none of them were song leaders. Over and over we sang a favorite one young man remembered, “He’s my Rock, my Sword, my Shield, He’s the Wheel in the middle of the Wheel, He’s the Lily of the Valley, He’s the brightest Morning Star, doesn’t matter what you say, I’m gonna get on my knees and pray, I’m going to praise Him till the day that Jesus comes – Hee, haw!” This was accompanied by appropriate hand motions, of course! We prayed for a guitar player the next year, and soon our campers were enjoying a variety of new and old songs at the morning outdoor chapel with fun arm movements lead by the counselors.

God called us to a new church camp in Montana in the year 2000. One summer, a group of volunteers created an outdoor chapel on the hillside where we could hold Sunday evening worship services. One week, a volunteer, a retired Methodist, told me about his call to lift his hands in worship. Why did he tell me? The Lord must have put it upon his heart. As a Methodist, he had never lifted his hands at church, but one day he was reading Psalm 134:2. and the Lord spoke to him, telling him this is what he should do. And so he did! And God put the desire in my heart to do the same.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
And bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2 (NKJV)

At the time we were attending a Methodist Church and a closer Lutheran Church, both with choirs and traditional hymns. As the desire to raise my hands increased, I would grasp the pew in front of me, keeping my hands down during the hymns, not wanting to be different or cause a stir. When I would go home to my parents’ church, I would again grasp the pew ahead of me, knuckles turning white as I resisted the urge. For 10 years I did this, even after we started attending an Evangelical Church so our kids could partake in the youth group.

Finally, one Sunday, I let the Holy Spirit take over and I raised my hands as we stood in the back of this Evangelical Church, noticing a few others scattered around the sanctuary were also raising their hands. Finally, I followed the example in God’s Word, the desire of my heart, and the call of the Holy Spirit, reaching my hands up to our Father in heaven as I magnified His Name in song. And now we attend our Sabbath home church and a fellowship group where most hands are raised. And for me, as the good old hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus” says, there’s “no turning back, no turning back.”

…“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You. “You are the Lord God…
Nehemiah 9:5-7 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: What is your posture when you are praising the Father? Are you standing in the pew, singing with the congregation? Are you curled up on the sofa with pen in hand, writing in your prayer journal words of adoration? Are you sitting with head down, hands clasped, heart beating for the Lord? Are you prostrate on the ground, bowing in honor? Are you standing with hands up high, exalting, lifting the Name of Jesus, reaching toward His throne in heaven? However you position yourself, Our Father God sees you, knows you, loves you and is so blessed by your love and praise. Keep exalting Christ our Lord, dear sister!!!

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. Psalm 63:4 (NKJV)

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)

My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes.
Psalm 119:48 (NKJV)

Hear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
Psalm 28:2 (NKJV)

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

A favorite hand-lifting song from church camp

But we see Jesus

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV)

But we see Jesus... these four words from God’s Word have been filling my thoughts during the past few months.  As we endured the hardships of a mold evacuation and relocation, we have seen Jesus at work in our lives.  From my husband’s knee to two Gideon Bilbes to our milking goat, we have seen the miracles of Jesus.

…nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV)

But we see Jesus… in my husband’s knee… In early November, my husband Kent’s knee started feeling funny at a Thursday Taekwondo workout with our youngest son Joel. By the next day, it was swollen to three times its normal size and he could barely walk.  We attended our Friday fellowship that evening where they laid hands on his knee for over half an hour and prayed for him in Jesus’ Name.  While they were praying, his knee visibly shrank, but still had a little swelling. The next day it was still sore and Kent thought one of the titanium screws from his 2002 surgery had pulled loose.  We found his old brace and he started wearing that, continuing all his farm chores, snow shoveling and working.  One day after about a week, my husband forgot to wear his brace to work and never put it on again! But the knee was still swollen in the evenings, so he kept his December doctor appointment where he had the surgery twenty years ago.  The doctor took four X-rays and said, “It’s just arthritis! Keep doing what you’re doing, working, walking, hiking, doing Taekwondo and all. All the screws are in place!  Staying active is the best thing.”  And so, we praised Jesus for this amazing healing, especially at a time when we needed a little extra good news!  🙏🥰

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.  1 Chronicles 16:11-12, Psalm 105:4-5 (NKJV)

But we see Jesus… in two Gideon Bibles… The morning after our final mold evacuation, we awoke at a guest house, so thankful for beds, mattresses, and quilts for a good night’s sleep.  Yet now it was morning when I like to have my quiet time with Jesus.  All of our books had been thrown away because of mold spores, but I could not let my Bible be tossed out with all the notes in the margins and prayers for family and friends.  So my Bible was packed into one of the many boxes that went to storage.  How could I have my morning tea time with Jesus?  He had a plan!

Way back in 2011, when we first left church camp ministry to begin caring for guest houses, we had asked a friend who is a Gideon if he had some Bibles we could place in the houses for which we caretake.  Our friend was glad to provide the Bibles and we placed them in two of the guest houses.  Only the Lord knew that years later, we would be homeless and the owners would so graciously let us stay in one of these very guest houses. That morning after our evacuation, I went to the bedside table where I thought the Bibles might be, and sure enough, the two Gideon Bibles were still there! One for me and one for my husband!  Kent said most of Ephesians and Galatians were missing from his, we hope a guest enjoyed those so much he wanted to take them home!  And so, I never missed a morning of reading my Bible, because 11-1/2 years before we had placed Gideon Bibles in the very guest house that we would someday visit as “homeless” people on a cold winter day.  And now a friend has given us new Bibles, too. God is so good!

I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.  Psalm 119:162 (NKJV)

But we see Jesus… in our milking goat…  And here is one last story you will like… we first got the goats because Joel can’t digest cows’ milk. Our goats have been such a blessing with the mama Gloria producing enough milk for Joel and sharing with others. However, with everything going on in November, we thought we should dry-up our mama goat to make our move easier. Kent reduced the grain and started milking less, but she kept producing! Gloria would not dry-up, she kept giving milk! And so, Kent started giving her the usual amount of grain again and she is in full production, being milked twice a day. Joel has plenty of milk to drink and we have extra to share… it’s like the flour and oil that were never used up during the famine in 1 Kings 17! God is so very good! 💗🐐🥛

For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. 1 Kings 17:16 (NIV)

But we see Jesus… in the love of brothers and sisters…  thank you so much for all your care and prayers. My tears in God’s bottle are now tears of joy! We thank Jesus for you!

 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. Philippians 1:3-4 (NIV)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV). O Jesus, we see you… this is our story! We see You! For like Stephen, the clouds have parted, the heavens are open, You are sitting at the right hand of the Father, saying, “Hold on a little longer.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read 2 Chronicles 20 for an amazing prayer, story, and promises from God’s Word.  Keep looking to HIM, Jesus loves you so much, dear sister!  He sees you and cares about you.  He knows exactly what’s going on in your life right now. Keep looking to Yehovah God, Yeshua Messiah, Our Lord and Savior!

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.  2 Chronicles 20:9 (NKJV)

…Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NKJV)

 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you… 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NKJV)

...Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever. 2 Chronicles 20:21 (NKJV)

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

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

My Tears in God’s Bottle

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8 (NKJV)

 Mattresses outside the door… a garbage bag split open spilling books onto the frozen ground… trailers weighted down so much the tires are compressed… 33 years of belongings headed to the dump… the framed wedding picture, the toddler ride-on toys, the school books, the bunkbeds, the easy chair (nothing is easy, who gave it that name?) … even a 54-year-old teddy bear… all waiting in our yard for dump day. But the Lord must have been smiling down on us, for the sun shown on this January day, He sent helpers, and the massive haul to the transfer station was completed.

Just two weeks before, the temperatures had plummeted far below zero. The snow sculpted the landscape, biting bare fingers. “No one should have to evacuate for mold in winter!” we cried! Thank you, Jesus, for warming Montana by 70 degrees, from 30 below to 40 above! Thank you for this lull in the weather to bring my brother and other helpers. Thank you for all the dear ones who are praying for us!

God’s Cloud has definitely lifted from our home on Dry Creek Road, and we are following Jesus where He leads us, our next stop being a temporary guest house. Turns out that Dry Creek may have been dry, but the ground around our rental house was not. All the irrigation water from uphill came right to our cellar, which, combined with attic problems, created a mold sandwich with our family in the middle! So, all the mold-spore-infested-sandwich-fixings were strewn outside the door, awaiting their doom at the dump.

My dear husband still has the garage and barn to finish sorting, tossing, packing and cleaning. He could use a hand if you have one, or two. There is nothing more depressing than throwing away all your belongings, but if you have company, the job is lighter. For God tells us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Thank you to my brother and dear friends who have already come to our rescue. God bless you all!

We are counting our blessings. The other evening I left our borrowed house in a borrowed truck wearing borrowed clothes and realized that even our very breaths are borrowed from the Lord until He calls us home. And so I thank Him for dear praying friends, a box of notecards, a new prayer shawl, new Bibles for our family, a bag of sweaters, a winter coat, a home for our kitties, grocery deliveries, a surprise envelope, sheets for the new mattresses we will have someday, school supplies for our son, bits of cheer, packing and sorting, cleaning and delivering appliances to the thrift store, a trailer loan, a truck loan, a guest house loan, loading and unloading, a love offering, a phone call, a text, an email, a smile, a note, a prayer… thank you, dearest Jesus for taking care of us with all these dear ones. Bless each one! And we thank You in advance, Lord Jesus, for the next home You are preparing for us… please remember the barn for the animals and a garden, and please heal us. Thank you, Jesus, You know what we need before we even ask!

Today’s TEA CUPP:   A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They’re building a palace for me over there; Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing: All glory to God, I’m a child of the King (Hattie E. Buell, 1877).

p.s. Please keep praying for our healing and new home. God bless you!!! 

…I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you… 2 Kings 20:5 (NKJV)

Hear my prayer, O Lord, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were. Psalm 39:12 (NKJV)

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5 (NKJV)

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

My new temporary Daniel window with borrowed mug and Gideon Bible and dish towel prayer shawl.  

For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  Matthew 6:8 (NKJV)

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

No Room in the Inn

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

I’m having a “No Room in the Inn” Christmas. The place I’ve called home for 11-1/2 years no longer has room for me because it is full of mold. And so while most people are gathering to celebrate with family, we are moving in sub-zero temperatures to a temporary guest house (thank you, Jesus, for providing this for us!). Ironically, this guest house was once a barn, now converted into a lovely dwelling.  We can pretend to be like Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus as we sleep in “the barn.” 

And so this Christmas I share with you one of my favorite Christmas devotions from years ago.  I never really attended this Christmas pageant, yet Jesus showed it to me one day as I sat in church…

“NO ROOM in the INN” the sign proclaims on the make-shift inn created by the Sunday schoolers for their Christmas pageant.  The beautiful story of our Savior’s birth will soon be portrayed by the youngest members of our church family.  As the students and teachers make the final preparations for this year’s production, my mind contemplates the words on the sign — “NO ROOM in the INN.”

The sign is taken right from the book of Luke, And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the innWhy do these words from the Christmas story strike such a chord with me?  Is it because God allowed me to share in Mary’s experience?  Is it because He showed me “NO ROOM in the INN?”

Not once, not twice, but three times God let me be pregnant and then moved us to a new place! In each instance, during a span of 18 years, a home, a job, and our future were uncertain.  Oh, how I wrestled with God each time!  And just as He provided a stable for Mary and baby Jesus, God provided homes for us, from a rustic cabin in the mountains to a spacious home near town. But best of all, He gave us the babies.

The Sunday schoolers suspend my thoughts for the moment,  now parading onto the stage  in their costumes.  Instead of the usual bathrobes and shepherds’ staffs, they are dressed in modern outfits.  One holds a sign that reads, “Super 8, No Vacancy.”  Another says, “Holiday Inn Express, No Vacancy.” Another proclaims, “Comfort Inn, No Vacancy.”  I look down the line at all the children, each with another hotel sign, all claiming, “No Vacancy.”

The last little girl comes in a red velvet dress.  She has a different sign.  It reads, “My Heart Inn.”

“Oh, what can this be?” I wonder.  We sing “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem” before the children commence with the play.

Mary and Joseph wander onto the modern Bethlehem stage, looking for a place to stay.  First the Super 8 manager explains how he has no vacancy because of a cattlemen’s convention. He turns his sign so we can read, “No Vacancy, Welcome Cattlemen!”  Next the Holiday Inn Express manager tells about the craft show people filling her motel. She turns her sign to read, “No Vacancy, Welcome Craft Fair!”  The Comfort Inn manager is excited about the basketball tournaments in town and turns his sign to read, “No Vacancy, Welcome Basketball Players!”  And on down the line it goes, with each motel manager giving reasons for no vacancy.

Finally we come to the little girl in the red velvet dress.  This sweet little girl explains why her “My Heart Inn” has no vacancy.  She turns her sign so we can read, “No Vacancy.  Welcome American Girl dolls, video games, cell phones, ballet, new clothes, earrings…”

The congregation lets out a gasp.  We are all so shocked, just sure the little girl was the one to welcome baby Jesus.  We can’t believe it!  How is it possible?!  Such a sweet little girl with no room for Jesus.  It causes us to think, “Are we making room in our hearts for Jesus? Is there room in ‘My Heart Inn?’”

And so Mary and Joseph continue outside into the cold.  We see them standing outside the church window, shivering in the snow. There is an uncomfortable pause as we await whatever is next.

The little girl in the red velvet dress stands trembling in front of the congregation.  Tears form in her eyes because she also sees Mary and Joseph outside.  A sob escapes her as she cries, “Yes, baby Jesus, Yes!  I do have room in my heart for You!”

The little girl tears up her  “No Vacancy” sign and throws it into a nearby manger, sobbing uncontrollably on the alter steps.  Tears spring from all eyes as we watch the little girl helplessly, not sure if we should go and comfort her. From out of the shadows appears an angel who reaches down and touches her, giving her a new sign.

Looking surprised, the girl in the red velvet dress stops crying to read, “My Heart Inn. Welcome Jesus.”  She smiles, wiping away her tears, delighted with her new sign.

The pastor stops the production to point us to our church bulletins.  Inside we find hearts like the “My Heart Inn – No Vacancy” sign.   Pastor asks us what is filling our hearts, creating no room for Jesus?  Is it money, things, toys, activities, computers, cars?  He asks us to write it on the No Vacancy heart.

I consider my heart and the Christmas story.  I didn’t really share in Mary’s ordeal.  I don’t know what it is like to have a baby in a stable.  I haven’t really shared in Jesus’ sufferings, from His humble birth to His sacrificial death.  I ponder what to write on my heart, and then I know.  I write down all my worries that keep me from trusting Jesus. I write down my busy projects I think I have to do for Him, when all He really wants is my heart.

Pastor invites us to come forward and leave our  torn hearts in the manger, just like the little girl.  There is not a dry eye as we file to the front of the sanctuary. I imagine the paper hearts contain all kinds of confessions from addictions to broken families. Each one laid in the manger is like nailing it to Jesus’ cross. Wise men and shepherds appear on the scene. They give each person who places a “No vacancy” heart in the manger a new heart ornament that reads, “My Heart Inn.  Welcome Jesus.”

The children’s choir softly sings, “Jesus is knocking at the door of my heart.” Then the congregation sings “The First Noel” and other Christmas hymns until the manger is overflowing with our torn hearts, and everyone in the congregation holds a new one.  As the piano music ends, the girl in the red velvet dress runs to open the door for Mary and Joseph.  The couple walks in holding baby Jesus, Who Mary carefully places in His manger bed (we wonder if He was born in the snow, but we don’t ask).

Pastor leads us in a prayer, asking God to help us truly give up these things that have cluttered our hearts, and for Jesus to fill our hearts instead.  The prayer ends and we look up to see…

The little girl in the red velvet dress, standing behind the manger.  She begins to sing, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come.  Let earth receive her King.  Let every heart.  Prepare Him room…” The children’s choir and the congregation all join her in singing this beautiful hymn.

Suddenly, with great joy, it is every holiday all mixed in one.  There are red heart balloons with John 3:16 falling from the ceiling like Valentine’s Day.  The Sunday School teachers bring in a cake for baby Jesus and we all sing “Happy Birthday to You!”  The cross on the alter reminds us of Resurrection Sunday and Jesus’ reason for being born – to die for our sins. And outside the head elder sets off fireworks like the Fourth of July to celebrate our freedom from sin.

We gather our children in our arms and sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas” as we all share a piece of Jesus’ cake.  And you know, I think it really will be a Merry Christmas this year. For this is the year Jesus found room at My Heart Inn.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the Christmas story again in Luke 2 and Galatians 4:4-7 today. Ponder the love of God who came as a Baby to be our Savior. Give Him Your heart, invite Him in to stay forever.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20  (NKJV)

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)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Titus 2:11 (NKJV)

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s post, you might also like to read: My TEA CUPP for Christmas.

Mold Overturned My Table

…and overturned the tables. John 2:15 

How is everyone doing today?  Has your life been overturned this past year by illness, or job changes, or death of a loved one?  Are you feeling a lot like Job who had his life overturned in a single day?  Please let me tell you my story…

It seems that my tea has spilled again.  Almost three years ago my tea spilled when our granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer. We joyfully celebrated her survival last June.  But now our lives have been spilled and overturned once again, knocking over not just my teacup but the whole table!

So, what happened?  The most mysterious illness of all… mold!  We are learning that the symptoms of mold mimic so many other conditions that doctors are slow to discover it.  Once you finally know, you’ve been living in the mold situation so long that your health is even worse.  The only action is to get out! The mold spores are what makes us sick. 

Mold is a fire without flames, a hurricane without winds, an invisible plague that invades lungs, guts, joints and brain cells.  Our home we anointed with hyssop and grape juice at Passover is now condemned. We have to throw away most of our belongings. Every book and pillow, every picture frame, lamp, sofa and bed… it all must go in a dumpster because of mold spores.  I must say good-bye to my Daniel window, my Jesus spot, my Bible, my prayer journal and my hymnal.  It will all be no more.  

My son Joel and I were discussing how you can’t take anything to heaven.  The Lord is just letting us experience that a little bit early.  But usually you have the joy of being in heaven when that happens!  Our hearts empathize with all those who have been through house fires (my in-laws), floods (my parents), hurricanes (the people of Florida), forest fires (my prayer friend Laurie), and many others!  Oh, how these disasters bring us closer to the ONE who provides for us all.

This fall I was asked to write a bio for the back of my new book, More TEA CUPP Prayers (please pray it will still come out spring 2023!).  I looked for ideas on the backs of my other two books, My TEA CUPP Prayers and Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers But then I realized how much God has pruned me these past few years.  

My TEA CUPP Prayers explains, “Jennifer Grace is an author, speaker, blogger, homeschool mom and grandma, Sunday school teacher, tutor, but most of all, God’s child and prayer warrior.  Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers says, “Jennifer Grace is a wife, mom, grandma, runner, scrapbooker, prayer warrior, but most of all, God’s child.”  

What has He pruned?  Speaking engagements left when covid hit.  Blogging slowed down with my health.  The Lord called us to be Sabbath keepers, so we now worship on Saturday. He called us to home church, so I don’t teach the little kids anymore.  He took away my health so I couldn’t run.  And now He is even taking my scrapbooks.  Yet, I am still a wife, mom, grandma, and author, and I will always and forever be a prayer warrior and a daughter of the King of kings.  

And so we leave, not even with the clothes on our backs, for those also will be thrown away, showering and changing at a laundromat.  We relocate to a safe guest house and pray for the Lord to provide and guide us in our next steps.  Seems like this would be the time to take that trip around the country (especially to dry climates) in an RV and be witnesses for Jesus Christ.  The Lord knows the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.  Could this be the open door that no one can shut through which we must walk?  Please pray for us!

  • Please pray for…
  • Jesus to guide our next steps.
  • Healing for our bodies.
  • The provision of a home or RV.
  • Comfort for our children.
  • That Jesus is glorified even in this!

The words of Job 1:21 and Habakkuk 3:17-18 come to mind… The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord…. Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Will you please pray for me and my family this Christmas?  Thank you, dear one!  Your prayers are a blessing. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.  The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  Love, Jennifer Grace

P.S.  Matthew 6:25-34 is encouraging!  Check it out!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  Matthew 6:18-20 (NKJV)

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKVJ)

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.Matthew 8:20 (NKJV)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

A few mold resources:  https://paradigmchange.me/stories/https://momsaware.org/

We had to give away our dear Lucy Lamb, the first of many sad good-byes…

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

 

 

Grain-Free Rhubarb Muffins

… ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’ 2 Kings 4:43

Grain-Free Rhubarb Muffins, just in time for your Christmas baking blitz! Now you know why you chopped and froze all that rhubarb last August, so you could pull it out in winter and enjoy a taste of summer! These muffins are especially good if you are avoiding grains and sweets.  You may substitute your favorite grain-free flours and sweetener. 

 Ingredients:

Topping:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 T. Hemp Seeds
  • 2 T. Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 T. Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup Stevia powder or monk fruit
  • 2 T. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Batter:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup Stevia powder or monk fruit
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. baking powder (aluminum-free and corn-free)
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cardamon
  • 1 cup goat’s milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 6 free-range eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two muffin pans with approximately 20 muffin cup papers. Mix topping together in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix muffin batter ingredients in a large bowl in order listed.  Scoop 1/2 cup batter into each muffin cup.  Top each muffin with 1-2 T. of the prepared topping.  Bake in preheated oven for 28 minutes.  Place muffins on cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly or overnight before eating.  Enjoy!  

Many thanks to our Free Range Chickens for the eggs!

Many thanks to our homeschool friends for the rhubarb!

Many thanks to Honeybunch Hunts for her original recipe which I modified!

Many thanks to Jesus for all His blessings!

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

 

 

 

Jesus, Our Greatest Example

In celebration of Thanksgiving this year, I’m re-running this post from June 2021. This devotion and many others will be in my new book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, coming out in spring 2023. Thank you for praying for me and the publication process! Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to one and all! Thank you, dearest Jesus, for so many blessings!

…Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
    for the Lord is good;
    His love endures forever…
 Jeremiah 33:11 (NIV)

Whether you are new to prayer, or this is a regular routine for you, it is always a blessing to be reminded how our Lord Jesus prayed when He walked this earth. Jesus is our example in all things, including THANKSGIVING to the Lord. Isn’t it a wonder that Jesus the Son gave thanks to the Father, showing us how to give thanks to the Father, when He and the Father are One?

We find so many times in the Gospels when Jesus gave thanks…

  • When the 70 disciples returned from their first mission trip (Luke 10:17-24):

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.Luke 10:21

  • When Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish (John 6:1-14):

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. John 6:11

  • When praying to the Father to raise His friend Lazarus (John 11:1-44):

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” John 11:41

  • At the Last Supper with His disciples (Luke 22:7-20):

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said,  “Take this and divide it among yourselves.” Luke 22:17

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19

With these true stories in mind, I follow Jesus’ example, beginning my prayers with THANKSGIVING. Whether I’m welcoming my sons home from a mission trip, feeding my family, praying for healing for loved ones, or just having TEA with Jesus, I begin with thanks. Perhaps my biggest THANKS recently was attending my granddaughter Kennedy’s preschool graduation one year after she was diagnosed with cancer. You can turn to one of the last sections of this book to read how this Grandma’s heart was broken and cried desperate pleas to God the Father for over a year for healing for our granddaughter. She had no hair and couldn’t walk after the first rounds of chemo. I prayed and prayed, “Talitha, Cumi, Little One, arise,” and God raised her from her sofa bed to attend preschool and gymnastics! And Jesus let me witness her graduation while her new baby sister was being born. Oh, what double blessings all in one day! I thank you Lord Jesus, for you have heard my prayers and seen my tears and sent life to this family!

There is always something for which to be thankful, dear sisters. Even when the whole world is falling apart, we can thank Jesus that our names are written in heaven and that we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken. Hold onto these precious verses of THANKSGIVING this coming year…

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:20

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.  Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read one of the selections of Jesus giving thanks, noticing the miracles that came after His thanksgiving. Select one THANKSGIVING verse to write in your prayer journal, pouring out your thanks to the Lord. The Father will be so happy to hear from you!

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

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


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

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

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

4:7 Victory

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

O Father, O Jesus, here we have the story of when Satan tried to tempt You in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting (no food, no water). You must have been so hungry and thirsty, even though You are the Living Bread and Living Water.

First, the devil tried to tempt you to turn stones to bread, but You fought back with the Word of God, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Your Word is all we need for it is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

Well, the devil was crafty in his second temptation, using Your Word himself, telling You to throw Yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple so the Father’s angel would guard over You. This verse is one of my favorites to pray for my family, the 911 verse, Psalm 91:11 “He shall give His angels charge over you.” Shame on the devil for mis-using this precious Word of God! And all praise to Jesus for fighting back victoriously with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, saying, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

O Father God, forgive us for ever trying to tempt You, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive our nation for tempting You to wrath with all its evil. Save us, O Lord our God. Turn hearts to You before the great and awesome day when You return. Pour out your Holy Spirit on this land. Do not let us tempt you any longer. We say as Jesus did on the last temptation, “Away with you, Satan!”

“Away with you, Satan!” Away with you from our lives. Away with you from our health. Away with you from our families. Away with you from our schools. Away with you from our courthouses. Away with you from our government. Away with you from our churches. Away with you from our media. Away with you from our nation! Away with you, Satan, in the Name of Jesus and the blood He shed on the cross! We will not bow down to you!

We will only bow to the King of kings, the Lord of lords, our God and Father, Christ Jesus His Son, who showed us how to resist you with His Word, how to cut your temptations to pieces with His Sword of the Spirit, and how to live victoriously by following His steps. You are finished, Satan! Go to the deep pit where you belong! You are not welcome here. Away with you!

Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of the United States of America. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of me and my family wherever we go. HalleluYAH! Amen!

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

4:7 Aftermath

A prayer for America on the Aftermath of Election Day 2022 with verses from 2 Kings 22, Psalm 142, Joel 1-2 and Hebrews 5 from the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan for November 10.

Hebrews 4:7 Again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

O Father, O Jesus, forgive us for our hard hearts. Soften us to hear and obey Your Holy Spirit, O Lord, TODAY! Forgive me, forgive my family, forgive our nation, forgive Your church. Soften me, soften my family, soften our nation, soften Your Church. For today I am sad that our nation is still lost, still having broken elections, though there were glimmers of hope. I cry out to You with the cries of the Psalmist and claim the promises of Joel.

Today we offer up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who is able to save us. I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord, I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. Our spirits are overwhelmed, Lord Jesus. The locusts have even eaten our elections and votes. We prayed and voted for God-fearing leaders across this nation, and we received a few, but not enough!

O Jesus, we thank You for the victories, and yet we rend our hearts and return to You again in prayer to ask, “”How long?” and “Where did we go wrong?” and “What more can we do?” Forgive us for becoming dull of hearing. May we learn obedience through all our suffering. Help us discern good and evil. Spare Your people, O Lord. Do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations, “Where is their God?”

O Father in heaven, give us leaders like Josiah whose heart was tender and he humbled himself before the Lord, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the Law of Moses. We cry out to You, O Lord, You are our refuge, a very present help in trouble. You are gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and You relent from doing harm. Turn to us, Lord Jesus. Hear our cries. Leave us a blessing! Spare Your people, O Lord. Do not give Your heritage to reproach.

We decree the Lord will be zealous for His land and pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things! Do not be afraid! I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten! You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God. I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” America shall be saved! HalleluYAh! Amen!

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


America Shall be Saved

A prayer for America on this Election Day 2022 with verses from 2 Kings 19-20, Psalm 139, Hosea 14 and Hebrews 3 from the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan for November 8.

O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord and see and hear the words of our leaders which reproach You, the Living God. We spread all the news before You… the fake news and the truth, for You know the truth.

O Lord, You have searched the USA and know every heart. You know when we sit and do nothing, and when we sit and pray. You know when we rise up against our neighbors, and when we rise up to help them. You know the path this nation has taken, a path of rebellion since its birth. And You know when we lie down and fail to take a stand for what is right. You know every word that has been spoken in truth and in lies, in anger and in love, with our mouths, texts, emails, tweets, posts, grams and all… You know every detail.

You have hedged this great nation from its conception with peaceful neighbors of Canada and Mexico (Lord, save them, too!), yet also with Your mighty angels poised over every state. Your hand is heavy upon us now to do what is right. We cannot flee from You any longer. O Lord, lead this great nation back to YOU! Remember how You formed this “One Nation Under God.” We praise You for we are fearfully and wonderfully made and in Your book all the days of the USA were written, and we are not finished yet!

O Jesus, forgive our sins, we repent, we return, we come back to YOU! Search us, O God, and know our hearts; try us and know our anxieties, see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in Your way everlasting! We declare this day that You will wipe our government as one wipes a dish, turning it upside down. You will purge us with hyssop and make us white as snow. The people of the land will “execute” the evil leaders this day by casting them out with votes for good! Oh, that YOU would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from us, you blood thirsty men.

O USA, return to the Lord your God! For You have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord! Say to Him, “Take away all our iniquity, receive us graciously.” O Father, we claim Your promise to heal our backsliding, You will love the USA freely, You will turn Your anger away from us. All those who dwell under Your shadow shall return to You. They shall be revived like grain and grow like a vine. We declare that the USA shall once again be partakers of the heavenly calling, with hearts turned to the High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. Just as every house is built by someone, our Heavenly Father will rebuild this nation with His Son over us.

Today, we will hear His voice, we will not harden our hearts as we did in rebellion for the past 246 years! Forgive us for testing and trying You, O Lord, teach us Your ways. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon America!!! Now therefore, O Lord our God, we pray, save us that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone. May we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope to the end! In the precious name of Jesus, Yeshua Messiah and the blood He shed on the cross, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that raised Him from the grave we pray, America Shall be Saved! HalleluYAH! HalleluYAH! HalleluYAH! Amen!

Many thanks of Dutch Sheets and Give Him 15 for the encouragement to pray for the USA so boldly. America Shall be Saved!