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

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!

4:7 America

Today I continue my 4:7 Prayers, Petitions and Proclamations for America. God bless America!

1 Samuel 4:7 So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before.

We decree, God shall come into the camps of our enemies and they shall fear You, O LORD!!! Come into the camps in DC and Switzerland and Iran and Russia and Ukraine and Canada and everywhere the enemy lurks. Please, Lord Jesus, put Your fear in the hearts of our enemies and turn them to YOU for salvation. May they know You are the One True God. And I also pray for You to come into the camps of our homes and schools and court houses and state capitals and home schools and prayer meetings and fellowships and churches and nursing homes and hospitals — flood this nation with Your Holy Spirit and send a revival! Come into our camp, Yehovah God!

Ezra 4:7  In the days of Artaxerxes also, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabel, and the rest of their companions wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the letter was written in Aramaic script, and translated into the Aramaic language.

People have been writing against the USA and against Israel and against Your children, O LORD. They have stopped the work for Your kingdom here and in China and around the world. But we trust in You, O LORD! We wait upon You, O LORD! You will use even this for good, bringing people from around the world into Your kingdom because of the persecution. Many will cry out to You and everyone who calls upon Yeshua Messiah (Jesus, our Savior) will be saved to the glory of God the Father. Amen! From Psalm 60… Oh, restore us again!…Heal its breaches, for it is shaking…that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your righthand, and hear me… O Jesus, You are our Lawgiver, enforce Your laws…give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly for it is He who shall tread down our enemies! HalleluYAH!

Nehemiah 4:7 Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry,

O Jesus, this happened to the USA and now all kinds of people have broken down the walls and stopped the work. O Jesus, save us, protect us, give us strong leaders to rebuild the wall and enforce our boarders, letting only the innocent citizens and immigrants and travelers to cross. For Your children were once strangers in the land of Egypt, we should welcome and care for strangers, too.

Jeremiah 4:7 The lion has come up from his thicket,
And the destroyer of nations is on his way.
He has gone forth from his place
To make your land desolate.
Your cities will be laid waste,

Without inhabitant.

LORD Jesus, NO! Father God, NO! AS Moses pleaded with You for all Israel and You heard and answered, we plead with You for the USA! Hear, forgive, answer, have mercy on us, O LORD! Do not destroy this city on a hill, this One Nation under God! Be our Tabernacle, our Shade, Our Refuge, our Shelter, our Shield, our Strong Tower, and protect us from the enemy. Save us, LORD Jesus! Thank You for the miracles You are about do do!!

Luke 4:7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

There he goes again, the devil trying to tempt our Savior Jesus with his lies and false promises, just like he tries to do to us every day. That’s why we must fill ourselves with God’s Word each morning and put on the whole armor of God! The crazy thing was… all the earth already belonged to Jesus for He is God’s Son! It reminds me of the C.S. Lewis story, The Silver Chair, where the true prince has been held captive underground for years while the lady of the green mantle (Satan) trained the prince to conquer and rule his very own country. He was rescued just in tine!

Many of today’s leaders have been fed the same lies… I will l make you a great ruler or politician if you… support killing babies, support gambling, support perverted persons, join the world economic forum, etc. etc. It is all one big lie from the father of lies, Satan! And we say as Jesus did, “Get behind us Satan! For it is written. You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve!” WE will only have leaders who follow God’s Word and Holy Spirit, who pray and see His face, who protect babies and women and children, who teach men to be men of God, who throw out all the perverted persons from the land, who help the poor and needy and addicts, who make no treaties with evil, who believe in “One Nation Under God.” Away with you, Satan, from the United States of America! Psalm 108:5-6, 12-13 Be exalted, O God above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; That Your beloved may be delivered save with Your right hand, and hear me…give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. May they know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses… Your kingdom will be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules… be righteous, show mercy to the poor (Daniel 4:26-27).

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

4:7 Princess Proclamations

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

“Do you like Halloween, Grandma?” asked my first-grade granddaughter Kennedy, while we visited the zoo on a beautiful October day.  The zoo was covered from end to end with pumpkins and spooky decorations.

“”Why no, I don’t like Halloween! Why do you ask?” I replied to my observant granddaughter.

“Because you say skeletons are scary,” she answered. We went on to discuss our favorite holidays; Kennedy’s favorites are Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Later that evening I was playing a game with Kennedy while her mommy tucked in the little ones.  I knew Kennedy had been invited to a costume party the next week.  Not wanting her to go, but knowing she would be, I inquired, “What costume will you wear?”

“Maybe a ghost,” Kennedy replied, and then looked up at me, changing her mind. “I think I’ll be a princess, I like that best.”

“Oh, good,” I exclaimed, “I like princesses best, too. Do you know we all get to be princesses in heaven?”
“No, really?” Kennedy said, surprised.

“Yes, everyone who loves Jesus gets to be a prince or princess in His kingdom.  Do you love Jesus?”

“I love Him when I go to church,” replied my honest granddaughter.

“Jesus wants us to love Him all the time because He died on the cross for our sins.”  

“Why did He have to die on the cross for our sins?”

“Because we’re all sinners and do bad stuff sometimes.  Instead of us dying for our sins, Jesus died for us.”

“Hmm.” Kennedy contemplated as she put the finishing touches on a picture.

O Jesus, may all my children, grandchildren and greats love You, believe in Your death and resurrection, accept Your salvation, and be princes and princesses in Your Kingdom! Amen

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ….And for us ladies, Therefore you are no longer a slave but a daughter, and if a daughter, then an heir of God through Christ!  And since He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, that makes us princesses in His kingdom!!! We are no longer slaves to sin; the iron ball of our guilt and iniquity is loosed from our feet; the darkness in our hearts has been filled with the light of Jesus and every cobweb of evil is washed away. We are filled anew with His Holy Spirit, given clean white robes and crowns. We are Christ’s daughters and princesses in His kingdom.  Like Joseph, we have gone from prison to the palace. Like Esther, He chose us and brought us to His banqueting table.  Hold on, dear one, the battle won’t be long. He will keep us safe under the shadow of His wings until that Day when He comes in glory.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come; Come, Holy Spirit, Come; Come. Emmanuel, Come!  Thy Kingdom Come! HalleluYAH! Amen!

That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.  John 1:12

I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18

And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:29-30

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

The 4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations

You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
Psalm 4:7

Hello, dear sisters! I’m am back! The last few months I’ve been working hard to complete my third book, More TEA CUPP Prayers. I’m so excited that you should have it by springtime for a lovely Resurrection Day or Mother’s Day present. Please keep praying for the publication process which can be long and detailed. I thank the Lord for all of you and your prayers, may His Name be glorified! Jesus has also given me another task to do…

The numbers 4:7 keep returning to me. Last summer I was reading the Psalms and 4:7 jumped out at me as a beautiful verse describing my life with Jesus, You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I recalled how the Lord helped me run a marathon a few years ago in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes (4:7). 2 Timothy 4:7 talks about finishing the race. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. The following spring, our long-awaited grandson was finally born on April 7 (4-7). We used to have an address with the number 47, and so 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.

I shared my 4:7 mission with a few family and friends. My son Joel asked, “What were you doing when you were 47? I replied, “Well, you were 2 years old and I was starting the process of publishing my first book, My TEA CUPP Prayers.” My friend Sarah got curious and looked up what state in the United States was the 47th, New Mexico is the answer. Now there is a state that can use our prayers for revival!

And so for the next few months, I will share with you 4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations, some short, some long, all pointing to Jesus and our lives with Him. All glory and praise to God the Father and Christ Jesus His Son through the power of the Holy Spirit! HalleluYAH! Amen!

4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

What we all desire is acceptance, but more important than being accepted by people is to be accepted by God. Because of Jesus, we are accepted into God’s family. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the Bridge over the chasm that separates us from His Holy Father in heaven. Jesus is the One who forgives our sins and makes us white as snow so that one day we can stand spotless before His throne. The enemy does not like me following Jesus, but Jesus is stronger than the the enemy, He is Lord of heaven and earth and by His Name, the Mighty Name of Jesus and His blood on the cross, we cast out the enemy into utter darkness, be gone satan! Jesus rules and reigns in my life and family for all eternity!

Exodus 4:7 And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh.

I claim Your promise to heal and restore my flesh, my body, back, legs, feet, head, neck, liver, gallbladder (with no clips!), womb, bladder, gut, tummy and every ache and pain in the Name of Jesus who died for my salvation and healing, shedding His blood on the cross. And You will also give me gifts of healing (2 Corinthians 12 & 14) and heal all these dear ones… Nellie, Kent, Joel, Kennedy, MaryBeth, MaryAnne, Jane, Cheryl, Donna, Joyce, Marie, Kim, LanAnn, Becka, Nickie, John, Jack, Tanya, Kathy, Susan, Sarah, Steve, Weston, Bob, Roberta, Barbara, Terry, Roy, Nolan, Anne, Coleen, Rylie, Gracie, Unity, Jessie, Edna, Cindy, Hank, Brenda, Greysen, Lily, Clay, Dorothy, Gordon, Martha, Kelly, Terri, Saul, Tony, Eddie, Don, Joan, Caitlin, Rodney, Kathy, Janet, Elizabeth, Jake, Tracy, Whitney, Dave, Loretta and so many others! Psalm 103:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.

Numbers 4:7 On the table of showbread they shall spread a blue cloth, and put on it the dishes, the pans, the bowls, and the pitchers for pouring; and the showbread shall be on it.

My healing comes from Jesus, the Bread of Life. Sky blue is the color of my life with no pain. In sharing hospitality, I will entertain a healer. Oh Jesus, please let me bring healing to ladies everywhere, too. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.

More 4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations coming next time! Jesus loves you, dear one!

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

She Did What She Could

She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Mark 14:8 (NKJV)

My neighbor Marie stopped by for tea the other day. She was telling me about a mutual friend who had taught at a country school before she was married. Our friend had to be very careful not to share her faith openly with the students during the school year. But when summer came, the school board amazingly gave her permission to hold a Vacation Bible School at the country schoolhouse. Marie commented, “She did what she could.”

The week before Jesus went to the cross, He was at a supper in Bethany hosted by Simon the Leper. While Jesus was sitting at the table, Mary (the sister of Martha) took an alabaster flask of very costly oil and poured it on Jesus’ head (John 12:3). Some criticized Mary for this “waste” of the precious oil, yet Jesus praised her, saying, “She did what she could…” The Father Himself must have put this upon Mary’s heart to anoint Her Lord and Savior for His death and burial, thus selecting the Passover Lamb. Mary did what she could for Jesus.

My friend Kathy and her husband stopped by this summer for a visit. What fun it was to host old friends from the Midwest in our mountainous region of the country. While visiting, Kathy shared all the things she would be doing when she returned home. One task was to drive an hour to pick up a friend at the airport and then drive that friend two more hours to her family. Kathy says, “because that’s what friends do.” Jesus would say, “She did what she could.”

A few days later, with Kathy’s example still fresh in my mind, a homeschool mom asked if I could drive her to the next city for a day of appointments because she had broken her wrist. We always have a hundred things we could be doing, but I knew that was where God wanted me that day, so I said, “Yes,” and was so blessed to spend the day with my long-time mom-friend.

A month later, I had a call from an old college teammate I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. She wanted to buy me a plane ticket to help her deliver a car for her college daughter. She had it planned beautifully from the flights to the motel stops. My tummy and back had been bothering me and I had a doctor appointment coming up so it didn’t seem feasible, but what did God tell me in His Word that very day? Arise and go! So, with the prayers of many uplifting me, I arose and went and was so blessed to catch up on 20 years of stories with my sweet college teammate as we traveled 700 plus miles together, handing out my testimony to hotel clerks, gas station attendants, motor cycle riders and others along the way. I hope Jesus will say, “She did what she could.”

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Mary’s story in Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-8. What can you do for Jesus today that would cause Him to say, “She did what she could”? Perhaps it’s as simple and powerful as saying a prayer or taking soup to a neighbor. While I was away, a troop of local missionaries was serving our community, painting, gardening, and helping their neighbors. There are so many ways you can be a blessing! Be on the lookout for “what she could” opportunities this week! God bless you, dear sister!

Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1 (NKJV)

Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words. Jeremiah 18:2 (NKJV)

…Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning… Ruth 3:10 (NKJV)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

...Well done, good and faithful servant… Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

...As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26 (NKJV)

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

Marking His Word

For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it
Jeremiah 23:18 (NKJV)

My youngest son gave me some Bible highlighters for my birthday this year.  I’ve been having lots of fun with them as I read God’s Word each morning.  I chose seven of them to mark verses for My TEA CUPP Prayers, one for each letter of the TEA CUPP:

Red: T for Thanksgiving

Orange: E for Exalting the Lord

Yellow: A for Admitting my sins

Green: C for Calling (God’s calling for my life)

Blue:  U for Understanding my story

Purple: P for Promises (claiming God’s)

Pink: P for Petitions (pouring out my heart to the Lord)

Perhaps you noticed, I put them in order of the rainbow. Remember, the rainbow was first given to us by God after Noah’s flood, as a promise that He would never flood the whole earth again (Genesis 9:13).  Let’s re-claim this symbol for the Lord! 

So, how do I get started with my Jesus tea time? After rolling out of bed each morning, I heat the kettle for myself and my husband, pouring each of us our favorite cups of tea along with a water bottle.  I set his cups on the counter so he can find them for his quiet time, then I go to my special Jesus spot on the sofa with my cups, ready to meet my Savior in His Word (my husband and our youngest son who is still home and I pray together at breakfast).

Now as I read my Bible each morning, I can quickly find verses for any category with this color-coding system.  Besides writing the letter “T or E or A or C or U or P or Pet” next to my underlined verses, I now also add this splash of color. Sometimes a verse fits more than one area, so I have to choose which color is most meaningful to me that day.  

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

The type of highlighters my son gave me are ACCU-Gel Highlighters, Acid-Free. They say they won’t bleed or smear or show through the page.  They came from Christianbooks.com. One neat thing, when you think the pen is running low, you just twist the end (like you might do with chapstick or a glue stick) and the tip gets longer.  

What is a verse that was especially meaningful to me recently as I highlighted God’s Word?  Psalm 17:8 is always a favorite… Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wings. As I got on board my first plane flight since Covid to help a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years, it was good to know He would keep me under His wings as the plane flew above the clouds. Thank you, dearest Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Try reading and marking Psalm 18. Remember, you want to begin each day in God’s Word, letting Him speak first.  Mark the words that touch your heart, then use these as conversation starters as you pour out your heart to the Lord.  You may write the verse in your prayer journal along with your prayers, or just speak aloud to the Lord.  God bless you, dear praying sister!

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.Psalm 12:6 (NKJV)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NKJV)

The law of the Lordis perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lordis sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lordare right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lordis pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lordis clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lordare true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11 (NKJV)

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

 

Let Freedom Ring!

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
Psalm 16:9 (NKJV)

In June 2022, God answered the cries of my heart, taking me back to Wisconsin to be with my grandchildren. As I played with the kids in their backyard, I heard the bells of St. Mary’s Church chiming over the rooftops. Those same bells had been my companions in the early days of our granddaughter’s cancer, as we came to help for weeks at a time.

On a 100 degree June Tuesday, we had the joy of witnessing our granddaughter Kennedy ringing the cancer survivors’ bell at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. After almost two and one half years of chemo, Kennedy is finally finished with all her treatments and pronounced, “cancer free!” We praise the Mighty Name of Jesus for this miracle and glorify His Name!

I want to thank everyone who prayed for our granddaughter these past three years. Your prayers rocked the throne room of heaven and the Lord heard your every cry. Your prayers gave healing to Kennedy, strength to her parents, comfort to her grandparents, and hope to so many. You are a blessing, and I thank Jesus for you!

I want to thank the doctors and nurses and physical therapists who cared for Kennedy all this time. God has put His kindness and compassion into your hearts. You poured it out on our granddaughter when she was so very sick. You encouraged her parents when the nights were dark, assuring them there was a light at the end of the tunnel. You were the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to heal the sick and lame.

I want to thank Kennedy’s Mom and Dad, Nana, Papa, and Auntie who were on the ground, doing the hard work each day, taking Kennedy to appointments and babysitting the little ones. You were there during the worst of times. The love you poured out on our grandkids is unmeasurable. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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

And, most of all, I thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, who heard the cries of Kennedy’s grandmas’ hearts. You were there when the “tea first spilled,” as we cried “Abba, Father, take this cup!” When we didn’t feel able to bear this load, You were able and bore it for us. You promised to send healing when I anointed Kennedy with oil (even anointing her hospital room and house). And when our little girl could no longer walk and we cried out, “Talitha Cumi,” You helped her to walk and leap again! You taught this precious girl to pray and blessed her with not one, but two younger siblings, first a Robin in spring and then a Princess in summer. You carried our granddaughter through every sick day and night, every treatment, every set back… You were there. Thank you, dearest Jesus.

And now, we celebrate this great and awesome victory over cancer. It was on a Tuesday that Kennedy rang the cancer victory bell, and Tuesday’s child is full of grace. The Grace of God healed our Kennedy Grace. This girl who was born on her paternal grandma’s birthday, rang the cancer freedom bell on her maternal grandma’s birthday. How awesome is that! He who died for our sins, healed the sick, made the lame walk, and raised the dead has now set our granddaughter free from cancer! My TEA CUPP overflows!

Today’s TEA CUPP: This 4th of July we have so much to celebrate… freedom for babies who will be given life instead of death, freedom from cancer for our granddaughter and others, and freedom from sin because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Our nation, the USA, was founded as one nation under God that we may also live in freedom. Let us glorify the Lord and celebrate all this freedom today! Let Freedom Ring!

Grandma and Kennedy in 2020

Kennedy and Grandma in 2022

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

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

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
Psalm 146:7 (NKJV)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 (NKJV)

A few “Ring the Bell” Hymns for you to enjoy…

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

My Love Letter from God

“I have loved you,” says the Lord…. Malachi 1:2

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!… 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

Dear Jenny Grace,

I love you.  You are My child, a jewel in My crown (Zephaniah 9:16). Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I sanctified you (Jeremiah 1:5).  When I look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God (Psalm 14:2), I see you reading My Word and praying every day, and I love you.

When you were a little girl, you always looked up at the big blue sky, smiling at Me.  Even if you were inside, you would run to a window to smile up at Me in the heavens.  I had the neighbor girl tell you about Me when you were just three years old, as she helped you with your sweatshirt zipper.  I gave you a good family; when you saw your grandma kneeling by her bed praying one night, you wanted to do the same.  We had some good conversations until the cares of junior and senior high stole you away.  But I wouldn’t let anyone snatch you from My hands (John 10:28-29), because I love you.  

I let you follow your own path for a while, because I love you.  It was bumpy and you stumbled often, but I would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  I gave you a persevering spirit, knowing you would need it down the road.  With that perseverance, you ran thousands of miles, often smiling up at the big blue sky and Me, but sometimes forgetting Me.  When you ran at crazy times in the dark, I gave my angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). I let you walk-on to the Iowa State University cross country team to show you some real runners and Someone even greater, because I love you.

At ISU, you had to press on toward the goal to win the prize (Philippians 3:14), but it wasn’t the prize you thought.  It broke My heart to break your heart and the hearts of so many others your sophomore year. But I did it, because I love you.  For one moment, I looked away and let that airplane fall out of the sky, taking your beloved coaches and teammates home to be with Me.  I know it hurt you so much.  You couldn’t even run for years.  You were so mad at Me that you ran away, burying your sorrows in food and poor relationships that broke your heart even more. You really made a mess of things.  Yet, this was all part of My plan to bring you back to Me. I heard your cries and brought you out of your horrible pit (Psalm 40:2). I had some of your remaining teammates pray for you.  I had others befriend you.  And finally, I invited you to the Baptist Student Union, where You learned how much I love you. 

I taught you how I sent My only Son Jesus to die for your sins and for the sins of all the world.  You learned that by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, all your sins and sorrows and stumbling are scrubbed clean away (1 John 1:7).  I showed You how to read My Love Story in the Bible and we had dates every day as You read My Word and prayed to Me.  I, the Father Myself love you, because you have loved My Son Jesus, and have believed that He came forth from God (John 16:27).  Now you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 1:23). You are Mine, I bought you with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) because I love you.

I put dear people in your life to teach you about Me. I blessed you with a husband to share your journey on earth and then two sweet children.  I put My love in your heart for your kids so that you wanted to stay home and homeschool them, even asking Me for more children.  But I loved you so much, I wanted to teach you to pray harder, making you pray seven years for your third child.  I was smiling in heaven when I saw your joy at his birth, because I love you.

But I wasn’t done teaching you, you had so much to learn.  I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Those years in camping ministry were hard, weren’t they? But when you passed through the Iowa flood waters, I was with you; And through the rivers, they did not overflow you. When you walked through the Montana forest fires, you were not be burned, nor did the flames scorch you (Isaiah 43:1-2), because I love you.

I let you conceive three babies that I took to heaven before you could even see them.  I know that broke your heart, but aren’t you stronger now? Aren’t you more able to comfort others in their sorrow? Don’t you see how much I love you?  And then, wasn’t that an awesome thing I did when you were 45 years old, giving you your fourth living child, a son, born exactly nine months after you followed My example in baptism (And 11 ½ years after his older brother!).  I gave him to you because I love you.

I even let you fulfill your life dream you had since before the plane crash, letting you run a marathon when you were 53 years old.  You prayed to Me every mile and I carried you to the finish line. You wanted to run it in under 4 hours, but I had you complete it in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes, just like 4:7 in the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  I love how you dedicated the race to babies, raising money for a crisis pregnancy center. You love the precious innocents, like I do; your heart breaks for them as does Mine. Yes, Jenny, I love you.

But, I’m not finished teaching you.  Even as you dedicate your life to Me.  Oh no, I will not let you go soft.  I’m making sure you lean into Me and are ready for the battle (even though the battle is Mine). As I did for Job, I allowed more heart break, your granddaughter’s cancer, your chronic pains and even this time of waiting, because I love you.  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is trying you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13). I even put you in a pain group so you could share your journey together, because I love you.

I see you rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer for your nation and world.(Romans 12:12). I see you obediently following My commandments, even on My Sabbath Day you are resting with the angels.  I see you trusting in Me for complete healing; I am Yehovah Rapha, Your healing God.  Even when the pains are so bad and you have a grumpy evening, you get up the next morning, ready to try again. I declare that by My Son Jesus’ stripes you will be healed (Isaiah 53:5).  And I, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10). I promise you this as I see you praying, fasting, persevering through it all, and I love you.

I love you so much that I’m preparing a place for you in heaven, a mansion for you and your loved ones and for all who believe I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14). I will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).  Oh, Jenny, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And you will be with Me always, because I love you. 

And now dear one, I want you to take this love I’ve poured out on you to ladies everywhere. You have an anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20).  I want you to share your story, open my Word to them, and tell them about My Son Jesus, Your Savior. You must teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20). Invite ladies to TEA with Me, the King of kings, bringing more ladies into My kingdom, and they will bring their husbands and children.  Together, we will change this world, one TEA CUPP at a time. 

Go forth, O daughter of Zion, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Song of Solomon 3:11, Philippians 3:13-14). And lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

My eternal love always,

Your Heavenly Father

I AM the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
(Isaiah 43:3)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, YOU are dear to God’s heart, too. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). You have a love story, too. How about writing your own Love Letter from God in your prayer journal today? Add your favorite Bible verses and share it with others. And will you also please pray for me, for Jesus to open doors for me to take My TEA CUPP Prayers to ladies everywhere? Invite me to speak at your ladies’ group or next retreat. Thank you, dear daughter of the King. God loves you!

…I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved… Daniel 9:23 (NKJV)

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

…God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 (NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)

Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
Psalm 35:27 (NKJV)

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

Enter the Promised Land

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2 (NKJV)

Growing up in Iowa, I was quite proud of the quote from the famous baseball movie Field of Dreams, “Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa.”  Now I live in Montana, which I find even more beautiful with its majestic mountains and wide open spaces.  Yet I know even this is not heaven. For in the true heaven there awaits me my Savior Jesus and a Promised Land more wonderful than I could ever imagine. It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us (Deut. 1:25).

So many of us know the Old Testament account of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt and parting the Red Sea. But instead of heading straight to the Promised Land, they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief.  God’s pillar of cloud led them by day and fire led them by night until all the older generation died. 

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:18-19 (NKJV)

So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’  Psalm 95:11

Why couldn’t the older generation enter the Promised Land?  Because they didn’t believe!  In Numbers 13 we read how Moses sent a scouting party to check out the Promised Land.  Two men, Joshua and Caleb, said it was perfect and they should go. Ten men said there were awful giants and the land could not be captured.  The Israelites believed the ten men instead of believing and trusting God.  So they couldn’t enter the Promised Land. Even Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, because he did not hallow the Lord when he struck a rock to get water at Kadesh (Numbers 20:12, 27:12-14, Deut.1:36-38, 3:25, 4:22, 32:48-52)).  

Only Joshua and Caleb and all the younger generation were allowed to enter the Promised Land.  Joshua was the anointed leader and Caleb was given special lands.  WE must also BELIEVE to enter the Promised Land of heaven.  Don’t side with the ten men who don’t trust God. Go with Jesus and the Holy Spirit who tell us He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Be like Caleb who said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it”  (Number 14:8). Believe!

…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31 (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)

God’s Word is full of promises about our Promised Land. Let’s look at a few of these heavenly promises…

…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.  Isaiah 33:17 (NKJV)

For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 (NKJV)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV)

The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets. Zechariah 8:5 (NKJV)

a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:2-3 (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)

 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21:27 (NKJV)

Dear One, there remains a rest for the people of God, for YOU!  For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. How can we be certain to enter this rest in the Promised Land?  By holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, by exhorting one another daily while it is called Today lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, by holding steadfast to the end, by remembering the Sabbath Day of rest now, by being diligent to enter our rest, by hiding God’s Word in our hearts, by coming boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. but most of all, believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  (Deuteronomy 12:9, Hebrews 3-4, Acts 16:31). 

Three years ago my Daddy went to heaven. Three miscarried babies and two grandbabies are in heaven.  I can’t wait to see Jesus and all my loved ones and those streets of gold and no more tears or hurt or sin or sadness or pain or cancer or COVID19 or bad politics. Let us wait for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) where Jesus reigns forever and ever!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Numbers 13,  Hebrews 4 and Revelation 4 for a picture of the Promised Land and heaven. Dear One, I want you to be in heaven someday with Jesus and all God’s children.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ TODAY and you will be saved.  Claim all the promises of heaven, looking forward to the day when Jesus calls us home.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Dear Loved One and  Remember the Sabbath and The Only Antidote. 

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:4

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.  Psalm 65:4 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26 (NKJV)

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5 (NKJV)

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 (NKJV)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)

 

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