So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:27 (NKJV)…So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.Exodus 12:27 (NKJV)
O Father, O Jesus, I come before Your throne, sitting at Your footstool with my usual tummy ache, thankful for Your care yesterday, sad that I still hurt, sorry I complain, still hopeful You will answer my cries, yet even if You don’t, I still bow and worship You for You are the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth. You are the Word made flesh. You sent Your Son to be my Savior. You died and rose again for me and all the world. I believe and worship and glorify You! Just as the Israelites bowed and worshiped before Your great deliverance from Egypt, I bow and worship You before Your healing and new home come. I love You! I believe in you! I exalt You with all my heart! Be glorified today, my Lord and Savior, Yeshua Messiah, my healing Father, Yehovah Rapha, my Victory, Yehovah Nissi! I love You!!
But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does.Job 23:13 (NKJV)
Who are You, Father God? Who are You, Yeshua Messiah? You are God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords and my KING and my LORD. You are the Great I AM who called Moses and still calls us today. You are Unique and Unchanging — no One is like You, LORD, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever! All Your plans succeed. You do what You desire. You are the Christ, the Only Son of the Father, who came to save us, dying for the sins of all the world on the cross, rising again so we have eternal life. All I can do is bow and worship at Your footstool, love and praise and glorify You, now and forever and all eternity!
Our Fatherin heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.Luke 11:2 (NKJV)
O Father, O Yeshua, I love and praise You! You are in heaven, sitting on Your thrones, covered in a cloud, hallowed is Your Name. Like a halo above an angel’s head – You are above all! Your kingdom is coming! It came at the Asbury Revival and revivals of times past. It came when You walked this earth. It came with each person who receives Your Holy Spirit. Yet it is coming for all eternity when You come again and reign and create Your new heaven and new earth with Your children who love You. And you will hang the earth again on nothing! O Father, O Jesus, let Your will be done and Your Name be exalted above all! We glorify Your Name this day!
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever…2 Corinthians 11:31 (NKJV)
O Father, O Jesus, my God and Lord, blessed are You forever and ever and ever. None can stand against You, not even Leviathan, the dinosaur of old. No one preceded You. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Everything in heaven and earth is Yours. You own it all! You even own me, I’m Your daughter bought with Your precious blood. You paid my debt. Forever and ever and ever I love You and praise You and glorify You! With your brother Jude I proclaim,Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen (Jude 24-25).
Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?Exodus 15:11 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: As we move into Palm Sunday, The Passover, and Resurrection Sunday, how can you praise our Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Why not write one of these verses in your prayer journal today and write your own song of praise. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna! HalleluYAH! Amen!
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
(See also Exodus 6:2-3, Exodus 8:10, Exodus 20:2, Job 26:5-14, Job 38:25, Job 38:36-37, Job 38:41, Job 41:10-11, Psalm 24:8, Proverbs 30:4, Luke 9:9, Luke 9:18-20, Luke 9:35, Luke 9:56, Luke 17:15, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 13:8)
From the blood of Abel tothe blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.Luke 11:51 (NKJV)
He is our Alpha and Omega,
our Beginning and End.
He’s our A and our Z,
Our Savior and our Friend.
From Abel to Zechariah
His salvation was proclaimed.
And so we must lift up
His Holy Name.
A few of you may remember in Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers how we exalted Jesus with names for Him using all the letters of the alphabet… Alive, Bread, Christ, Divine, Emmanuel… etc. Since Mom’s went to press, I’ve found many more words for our Lord from A to Z. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to publish a second edition with a complete list!
Today, the Lord has me on a new quest, to find words which mean “to praise” and “to exalt” our Father and Lord Jesus from A to Z. Perhaps you can help me complete my list!
Ais for Adore
B is for Beautify, Behold, Believe, Bless
C is for Celebrate, Cherish, Cling to
D is for Dance for, Dedicate, Defend, Delight in, Desire, Devote
E is for Elevate, Embrace, Esteem
F is for Fancy
G is for Glorify
H is for Hallow, Hail, Hold dear, Honor
I is for Increase
J is for
K is for
L is for Laud, Lift up, Lionize, Love
M is for Magnify, Marvel at
N is for
O is for Ordain
P is for Praise, Prize, Proclaim
Q is for Quicken
R is for Raise, Rejoice in, Respect, Revere
S is for Sanctify, Shout, Sing
T is for Thank, Treasure, Trust
U is for Uphold, Uplift, Upraise
V is for Value, Venerate, Visualize
W is for Watch, Welcome, Witness, Worship
X is for eXalt, eXclaim, eXtol
Y is for
Z is for
Today’s TEA CUPP: Can you help me exalt our Lord and Savior? What words will you add to this ABC praise list? Write an exaltation prayer in your journal today. Glorify the Lord with me!
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)
…Like a prince I would approach Him. Job 31:37 (NKJV)
We can enter because He has torn the curtain. We can enter because we are His children, bought with His blood on the cross. We can enter because He has made us pure and righteous by His same blood. We can enter because He wants to hear from us. And so, I enter to tell Him my troubles…
Good Morning, Lord Jesus…I peek around the gate and see You and Your Father on thrones… at first, I take timid steps, knowing I’m welcome because of Your work and blood You shed for me on the cross… but still I’m a little shy, perhaps You might be busy… like when my earthly Daddy was in his study preparing a lecture for his biophysics students… yet he was always glad to see me, and even more so are You… and so, I run boldly across the glimmering floor to Your throne of grace and jump into Your lap and say, “Father, I love You!… Thank You for sending Your Son to die for my sins and all the world’s… thank you for Your free gift of salvation… thank You for hope.. thank You my name is written inheaven… thank You for taking care of us each day… thank you for praying friends… thank you for food and clothing and a place to sleep this month… and we trust You beyond that… thank You, dearest Father/Jesus for all Your blessings… thank You for the home You are preparing for us and the healing You will do in our bodies… thank You for the little things, like a text from a friend who cares, a smile from our son, a prayer from my husband… thank You for Your Word… O Father, O Jesus, I praise and exalt You for You are the Most High over all the earth, God Almighty, Creator of the Universe… You are my Savior… You are YHVH Rapha, our Healer… You are YHVH Yireh, our Provider.. You are YHVH Nissi, our Victory… How can I complain to One so Awesome?… Forgive me, O Father, I’m not worthy… I don’t deserve Your death and resurrection… I don’t deserve Your grace and mercy… I don’t deserve Your love and life, yet You graciously give it all to me… Forgive me again for always falling short of Your glory… Wash me clean by Your precious blood… I admit my sins to You and ask Your forgiveness, make me new… Thank you, dearest Jesus, Yeshua, my Messiah… And now, please, may I pour out my troubles?… No? Wait? You have a calling for me? You want me to do something for You first? Is this just to distract me from my complaint?… What can I do for You, Father?… How can I glorify You and Your Son?… Who needs our help?… May I bear fruit for You, too?… Thank You for giving me this assignment… I will press on, I will persevere, I will do it with the strength You provide… please keep helping and guiding me… So, about my troubles… Oh, You want to tell me a story? I know, You always like parables, but this isn’t a parable? Oh! It’s about me? You want to teach me a little more about my story and why you are letting these trials come through my life?… You have a verse for me that describes it perfectly?… Thank You, Father, that’s just what I needed, to know… You understand and You have a plan and others have gone through this same trial before… You will see me through this, too… And You have promises for me?… Oh, thank You, what are they?… You are the God who sees me and knows me and loves me… You will work all things together for good… You who have begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… And, You ARE coming again! Those are wonderful promises! I’ll write them in my journal… Thank You, Lord Jesus… Now, what did I come in here to ask You about?… I wrote down this verse, I wanted to petition You and complain in Your courtroom and argue my case, but it doesn’t seem so important anymore… Perhaps someone else will need this verse and You will hear their complaint and I’ll encourage them for You…
Then Job answered and said: “Even today my complaint is bitter; My hand is listless because of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.”Job 23:1-4 (NKJV)
Present your case,” says the Lord. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. Isaiah 41:21 (NKJV)
Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted. Isaiah 43:26 (NKJV)
Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you…” Jeremiah 51:36 (NKJV)
O Lord, You have seen how I am wronged; Judge my case. Lamentations 3:59 (NKJV)
Today I continue my 4:7 Prayers, Petitions and Proclamations…
Philemon 4-7… I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother…. I thank my God for you, dear TEA CUPP Sisters, making mention of you always in my prayers. I’m so excited to hear how you sit down each morning with your Bible and a cup of tea to spend time in prayer with Jesus. And that your time in the Lord has been fruitful as you’ve prayed for family, friends and loved ones. You have refreshed their souls and mine and given me great joy. I thank Jesus again for you as I carry out the dream God put on my heart, to change this nation for Jesus, one TEA CUPP at a time. HalleluYAH! Amen! ❤️
Ephesians 4:7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 🎶Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within: Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin. 🎶 (Julia H. Johnston, 1911). Thank you, dearest Jesus, for Your grace which brought me to You. I remember the first time someone explained grace and mercy to me. They said grace is the Father giving us a gift we don’t deserve, while mercy is You not giving us what we deserve. Like giving the little boy who hits his sister a lollipop (grace) instead of a spank and the time-out chair (mercy). When You died on the cross for us, Lord Jesus, that was ultimate mercy, taking the punishment for all our sins. Then You rose to eternal life and are giving us gifts, some prophecy, some teaching, some evangelism, some hospitality, and the best gift of all, eternal life (grace)! Thank You, Father, for sending us Your Son. Thank You, Jesus, for Your mercy and grace and good gifts. We thank and praise and love You forever and ever and ever! Amen! ❤️
Amos 4:7I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered. Oh, Jesus, first I want to thank You for the rain and snow You’ve sent to Montana, the ranchers are all so glad. Yet it seems like it isn’t just You who is sending and withholding rain in recent years, but the devil himself is seeding clouds, blocking the sun’s rays, making the wind blow extra hard, and even controlling hurricanes. O Father, You are the Creator of all, even the weather… indeed the wind and sea obey You (Luke 8:25)… don’t let anyone mess with Your creation! Take back Your power over the weather! We would rather be under Your judgment with the weather than under the curse of the enemy. O Jesus, You died for this also! Come and rescue us and our weather. Make the land fertile again. Reign over us and rain down blessings upon us. Thank you, dearest Jesus! All our springs are in You (Psalm 87:7)! Amen! ❤️
He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields.Job 5:10 (NKJV)
In summer 2022, the Lord called me to write 4:7 Petitions, Prayers, and Proclamations… I heard the Lord saying, “Pay attention to 4:7!” I started reading every 4:7 verse in the Bible. When there wasn’t a 4:7, I read the closest verse. I used these verses as Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations to the throne room of Christ our Savior. Bit by bit, I’m sharing them with you, my TEA CUPP Sisters. Thank you for reading and praying 4:7!
You,who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Psalm 71:20 (NKJV)
What does a homeschool mom do when mold hits? She carries on. Much like when a family has a new baby, taking time-off to celebrate and welcome this precious gift from God. Much like when a parent gets cancer and has to lead lessons from the bedroom. Much like when any disaster hits, the tragedy becomes the lesson.
We had our school year all organized. My son wanted to learn about mammals, so we ordered the Apologia science book about the Land Animals of the Sixth Day. We bought a zoo membership in hopes of making several trips to zoos. I organized his weekly lessons using the file system, where you have 36 folders, one for each week of the school year. I tore his hand-writing and spelling workbooks apart, dividing them amongst the folders. I included notes for what math lessons should be done, along with corresponding math warm-up sheets and tests. I listed the science chapters and assigned mammal reports. His Abeka State Book was also distributed between all the folders. But then mold struck!
From his older siblings, we had a wonderful collection of all the Saxon Math books and Pathway Readers. I love the stories in these Mennonite readers, though now I suggest they add one about mold. When Joel’s older brother left for Bible college, he pointed at the math books which had given him so many late nights of grief, and declared, “Jesus can’t return until Joel completes all these math books!” Joel was on track for completing them, and might have even been the first of his siblings to do the still-wrapped-in-plastic Calculus book! But then mold struck!
We were also digging into God’s Word. Several year ago, a traveling college student had sold us a wonderful set of seven Bible story books for older students. Our other boys were past the age of reading them and I had saved them for Joel; we were finally reading them together. The Bible came alive with the Spirit-filled writing in these books and we had almost completed Genesis. Daddy was reading A Closer Look at the Evidence for our morning devotions. The proofs from God’s Creation were always thought-provoking. But then mold struck!
We tried to continue. We didn’t know we would have to throw out all paper and books because of mold spores, so we brought his school work to the first evacuation house in town. Joel dutifully did his lessons. Together we walked to a nearby church so he could practice his piano lessons. After a few weeks we moved to the little cabin near our house to be closer to our animals for farm chores. There, Joel practiced piano on his sister’s old keyboard, while still trying to do a few lessons. When we found out we had to move out completely, the mold would not be repaired, we had to toss all the books (even those math books!), all the schoolwork and folders, all the crayons and markers and pencils and maps and Bibles and puzzles and games collected over 28 years of homeschooling our children. And the piano the church gave us 20 years ago was left behind. All because mold struck!
But the Lord has provided… first a guest house in which to stay until He shows us our next home, then a homeschool mom delivering new markers, colored pencils and a pencil box, then a church friend with notebooks and folders, a neighbor with a math book, Thriftbooks.com with used readers and a devotion book, a dear man from our fellowship with new Bibles, a love gift to buy missing workbooks, another keyboard on loan from a dear friend… and slowly, slowly we got back into a routine of schoolwork. Handwriting became writing thank-you notes, devotions became the book of Job, reading became library books. We waited a month to begin math, skipping 40 lessons and finding out it was still easy for Joel (maybe he will need that Calculus book after all, but who will teach it?!). At times we don’t feel well, so cozying-up with stories on the sofa is the best thing. I’ll probably never do the folder method again, too much work to have it all thrown away! We may continue our mammals and zoo theme into next school year when perhaps there will be time for those field trips. Someday, when we are in a new home, we will put up a fresh world map to chart the missionary journeys of his big brothers again and dream of Jesus sending us out, too. And there won’t be any mold!
You shall know that your tent is in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss.Job 5:24 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, are you in the middle of a family crisis? Perhaps mold? Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth (1 Chronicles 16:11-12). Find your trial in God’s Word (mold is in Leviticus 14:33-57 and 2 Chronicles 6:28-30). Let your children learn from your faith as you pour your heart out to God in prayer. And together you will see His marvelous works and wonders!
For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you.Job 5:18-19 (NKJV)
The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 (NKJV)
“What does it feel like?” friends have asked me. Mold is hard to explain and difficult to describe, so I will try to paint a picture for you, dear praying sister. Everyone who goes through the valley of mold has a unique experience, but this is how it feels for me…
Mold feels like a scary mystery.
Mold feels like a truck ran over me every morning.
Mold feels like I can only process one thing at a time.
Mold feels like I get upset for no apparent reason.
Mold feels like I need new glasses.
Mold feels like I’ve been working on my next book for years because of brain fog.
Mold feels like I can’t plan a trip to see family because that takes too much thought.
Mold feels like writing down every thought or else I will forget it.
Mold feels like never finishing my to-do list.
Mold feels like a broken record crying, “Heal me, O Lord.”
Mold feels like a bad dream.
Mold feels like extreme weariness.
Mold feels like sleepless nights and endless aches.
Mold feels like getting up every two hours to use the restroom, praying, “At midnight I rise to give You thanks because of Your righteous laws.”
Mold feels like getting up at 3:30 a.m. for quiet time with Jesus since I can’t sleep.
Mold feels like cancer without the fancy label.
Mold feels like dizziness when I stand suddenly.
Mold feels like knots in the back of my neck.
Mold feels like itchy skin and blotchy areas that come and go.
Mold feels like chapped lips and sores inside my mouth.
Mold feels like lower back pain that goes all the way down my legs to my feet.
Mold feels like numb fingers and toes.
Mold feels like I often loose my grip.
Mold feels like being anointed with oil and having great hope, only to feel awful the next day.
Mold feels like an elephant sitting on my lungs.
Mold feels like a sneeze and a sniffle.
Mold feels like not wanting to even move.
Mold feels like making myself walk in all-weather because movement is key to moving out the mold.
Mold feels like dizziness as soon as I come inside from my walks.
Mold feels like Peter’s wife Eden on the Chosen, wondering when will my healing come?
Mold feels like a pain.
Mold feels like an ice pick up my tail bone.
Mold feels like the worst cramps ever.
Mold feels like a rock in my stomach.
Mold feels like a twisting tummy ache.
Mold feels like a stab in my liver.
Mold feels like my husband on his knees by our bed every night, crying out to God.
Mold feels like a wilted flower.
Mold feels like my body reacts to everything.
Mold feels like giving up all my favorite foods, yet still I feel sick.
Mold feels like getting confused over all the different lists of foods to avoid or to eat.
Mold feels like watching others eat the yummy birthday cake I just baked for them.
Mold feels like nausea so I eat something, then nausea because I ate something.
Mold feels like reaching out to touch Jesus’ robe, and yet I can’t quite reach.
Mold feels like having the answer, but 100 more questions.
Mold feels like drinking gallons of water a day to flush out the toxins.
Mold feels like going to the restroom every hour because the mycotoxins destroyed my bladder lining.
Mold feels like taking tons of magnesium to make sure food actually moves through me.
Mold feels like I’m pregnant every evening with a swollen gut.
Mold feels like being curled up with a heating pad and Jesus every morning.
Mold feels like loneliness.
Mold feels like missing the party because I don’t feel well.
Mold feels like saying good-bye to all my hobbies.
Mold feels like throwing away my home in hopes I will get well.
Mold feels like renter’s insurance is useless as it doesn’t cover mold.
Mold feels like I’m still sick even after throwing away my home.
Mold feels like hopelessness, though I keep hoping.
Mold feels like no one understands.
Mold feels like looking into the bewildered eyes of my husband who has prayed every prayer.
Mold feels like a pat on the shoulder from our youngest son who has only known his mom in pain.
Mold feels like watching our youngest son get nose bleed after nose bleed.
Mold feels like wondering why our youngest son can’t eat like his grown-up siblings.
Mold feels like crying again when his test results are worse than mine.
Mold feels like thanking God for friends who care.
Mold feels like an unanswered prayer.
Mold feels like I’m slowly dying, though I still smile.
Mold feels like tears in the bathroom where no one sees.
Mold feels like spending all my livelihood on supplements yet being healed by none.
Mold feels like giving up but pressing on.
Mold feels like sharing in the sufferings of Christ.
Mold feels like because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Mold feels like saying, “Get thee hence, satan… I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord!”
Mold feels like hoping, enduring, persevering, and praying, because tomorrow may be the day Jesus heals my family and me.
Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, if you found this website because you have mold in your home, I’m so sorry. I know how miserable you must be. I’m reading the book of Job in my Bible right now. God’s Word expresses exactly how I’m feeling. I encourage you to stay in God’s Word, read Job, read the Psalms, read the promises of Jesus in the Gospels; and soon, very soon, by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus, we shall all be made well!
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.Job 13:15
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NKJV)
One thing that might tickle you tea-lovers… the doctor said to drink several cups of green tea and dandelion tea a day to help with detox! How’s that for God’s grace and sense of humor in our trials?!
Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! …For the arrows of the Almighty are within me…Job 6:2-4 (NKJV)
After several years of visiting doctors, Jennifer Grace was finally diagnosed with Ochratoxin A in September 2022. In October 2022, her home was tested and found to have Aspergillus and Penicillin molds. An “expert” came to test the house again in November 2022, opening the attic and cellar accesses, releasing additional mold spores which drove her family from their rental home. In December 2022, they tossed over 7000 pounds of belongings, put keepsakes in storage, and moved temporarily to a guest house. Their family continues to pray for healing and a home with a barn for 3 cats, 3 goats, and 26 chickens. Thank you for praying!!!
Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.Psalm 25:18 (NKJV)
Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed?…Jeremiah 15:18 (NKJV)
...I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you….2 Kings 20:5 (NKJV)
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)
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!!!
If you would prepare your heart, And stretch out your hands toward Him…Job 11:13 (NKJV)
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)
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)
But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; In You I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute. Psalm 141:8 (NKJV)
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)
I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. Psalm 6:6 (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.
…she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.Luke 7:44 (NKJV)
…For your Fatherknows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matthew 6:8 (NKJV)
You shall laugh at destruction and famine… You shall know that your tent is in peace.Job 5:22-24 (NKJV)
I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.Psalm 69:3 (NKJV)
You have fed them with the bread of tears, And given them tears to drink in great measure.Psalm 80:5 (NKJV)
…And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces... Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV)
…The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.Isaiah 65:19 (NKJV)
Oh, that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people!Jeremiah 9:1 (NKJV)