Jesus, Our Greatest Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever.
  Psalm 136:1-3

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

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

4:7 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

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

Walking in the Garden

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. Leviticus 26:23 (NKJV)

God still walks in the garden. Remember how in the beginning God planted a garden in Eden, putting Adam and Eve there to tend the fruits. Then one day, a serpent tempted Eve to eat the one fruit God said not to eat, and she gave some to Adam who ate also. When they realized what they had done, they hid from God as He came walking through the garden. God was very sad to make Adam and Eve leave their beautiful garden home because of their sin, but He had a good, good plan.

God promised that one day, a Seed from the woman would bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). That Seed arrived thousands of years later, when Immanuel, God with us, Jesus the Son, arrived as a baby in Bethlehem. When Jesus lived on earth, He often went to the garden to pray to His Father God in heaven. In fact, He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas Iscariot led the soldiers there to arrest Jesus (John 17). Jesus was led away from His prayer garden to die for the sins of all humanity, those very sins which first began in that Garden of Eden.

Last week we remembered Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and His glorious resurrection on Sunday morning. And where did someone first witness Jesus after He rose from the tomb? In a garden! It was the garden near the tomb where the stone had been rolled away. In this tomb garden, Jesus met Mary Magdalene who became the first witness of our risen Lord.

Dear One, Jesus still walks in the garden! As I type this, daffodils are standing bravely in my early spring garden, thawing out from the latest spring snow storm. The mulch has been catapulted in every direction by our free-range chickens whose quest is to rid our garden of every insect. Soon other perennials will be raising their heads, promising new garden life for another year.

Recently I counted the number of years we have had our garden and realized that this is the seventh or Sabbath year of rest for the garden (Leviticus 25:5-6). This is the year we are to eat what grows on its own. Too bad this is the same year there could be grocery shortages, but the Lord has a good, good plan and will bless all who follow His commandments. Perhaps we can do a few patio planters with veggies, we are praying about what to do.

Today’s TEA CUPP: For most of you ladies, it’s time to start planning your garden! Those in the north can start seeds inside. Those in the warmer south can begin planting outside. As you work in your garden this year, remember that God still walks in the garden. Jesus is there with you. He walks with you through every joy and sorrow. May all your seeds be planted in good soil and may you produce a bountiful crop for His glory!

The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11 (NKJV)

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

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

The Ladies at the Cross

And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. Luke 23:27 (NKJV)

This week, people from around the world remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Two of the most Holy celebrations come together in one, as the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, recalling when our Yehovah God set them free from Egypt.  And Christians remember the death of the Passover Lamb, Yeshua Messiah, who died on the cross for all the world.  In my previous devotion, I encouraged you to get together with other ladies to pray for our world.  Will you consider there was also such a ladies’ gathering around the cross?  It was a group of broken-hearted ladies, just like you and me. Let’s meet these dear ladies:

   And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  Matthew 27:55-56 (NKJV)

Mary Magdalene

And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.  Luke 8:2

Mary Magdalene was at the cross. Mary Magdalene was one of the devoted ladies who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry.  She had great love for Jesus since He had cast out the seven demons from her.  Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when they laid Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone to cover the entrance. Then she went home for the Sabbath.  But early Sunday morning, she came again to the tomb, hoping to anoint Jesus’ body with oil, only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.  Mary cried out to the “gardener,” “Where have you put Him?”  And the “gardener” replied, “Mary.”  Then she knew that Jesus is alive and ran to tell the disciples!  Mary Magdalene was the first witness of our Risen Lord! (Mark 16:9).

Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.  Mark 15:40 (NKJV)

Mary, the mother of the disciple Little James, was also known as “The Other Mary” and “Wife of Clopas.” After witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion, she was found again at the tomb with Mary Magdalene where Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus’ body (Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47).  These devoted ladies came again on the first day of the week to visit the tomb and anoint Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:1), only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb was empty! Jesus is alive! 

Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.  Mark 16:1 (NKJV)

Salome, mother of James and John, also known as Jesus’ aunt, was at the cross.  When I think of Salome, the story that comes to mind is when she brought James and John to Jesus and asked that they sit on His right and left sides in His Kingdom (Matthew 20:21).  Imagine how James and John felt when the other disciples were upset about this request.  Yet Salome asked because she believed in Jesus and His Kingdom.  And someday she will receive her petition, for her sons James and John will be sitting on two of the twenty-four thrones around God the Father and Jesus the Son, where we all will be worshipping the Lord (Revelation 4:4,10).  

Mary, the mother of Jesus

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25 (NKJV)

Of all the Mary(s) at the cross, perhaps this one is most memorable, Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Oh, what a journey this dear lady had, from trusting God with His divine conception and birth, to fleeing to Egypt, to searching for 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem, to bringing up a perfect Son in an imperfect world, to seeing His miracles and knowing He was fulfilling God’s plan, and yet, now, to witnessing His willing sacrifice on the cross, dying for the sins of all the world (John 3:16-17).  Oh, what a life this blessed Mary lived, being mother of our Savior.  

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.  John 19:26-27(NKJV)

Other Women

But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:49 (NKJV)

And there were many other women, too. Perhaps Joanna was there and Susanna (Luke 8:3, 24:10) .  They ministered to Him in Galilee and came up with Him to Jerusalem, observing the tomb and how His body was laid (Luke 23:55, Mark 15:41).  Other women were there, too, just like YOU and me. 

“I have loved you,” says the Lord Malachi 1:2 (NKJV)

Yes, YOU were at the cross! As Jesus hung on the cross, shedding His blood for the sins of all humankind, He thought of YOU! He planned to die on the cross for YOU since before time began (Ephesians 1:4-5, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). With eyes that could look down the halls of eternity, He saw YOU and He died for YOU! He saw your broken heart, He saw your sick body, He saw your hurting soul, He saw your fractured family and your dashed dreams, and He bore it all on the cross. He took the nails for your sins. He was bruised for your iniquities. And by His stripes YOU are healed. He poured out His life and blood and water for YOU (John 19:34), because He loves YOU and wants to be your Savior. But He didn’t stay dead, on the third day, Jesus rose again, conquering sin, death, and the devil forever, giving all who believe the promise of eternal life with Him.

…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear One, say as the centurions guarding the cross, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). Find these Bible verses and read them again today. Choose one of the Gospel crucifixions to read each day this coming week: Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20. Imagine standing with all these women before the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He looked right at YOU with love in His eyes, waiting for you to accept His sacrificial death. Say as the thief did beside Jesus on the cross, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42)

Thank you for stopping by My Tea Cupp Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Blessed Easter Tree and Every Knee Shall Bow and The Torn Curtain. I pray you and your family have a blessed Passover and Resurrection Sunday this weekend. HalleluYAH! Christ is Risen indeed!

Were You There (Traditional Spiritual)
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (Fanny J. Crosby, 1869)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:14-17 (NKJV)❤️

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)

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

Bearing Burdens

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. Numbers 11:14 (NKJV)

Do you have the weight of the world on your shoulders today?  The war in Ukraine and Russia is upon the hearts of many.  Coming food shortages are also a concern.  And there are the deaths of loved ones due to vaccines and other ailments.  It really is too much to carry, isn’t it? My friend, today let us lighten your load.  

 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints?  Deuteronomy 1:12 (NKJV)

Let’s begin by looking in Exodus 28 for help. I know that may seem a funny place to begin. Sometimes the Old Testament books bog us down with genealogies and rules, and we aren’t sure what’s in it for us. But with every year of reading my Bible, God shows me more neat things in the Old Testament and I love it as much as the New Testament. 

And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial. Exodus 28:12 (NKJV)

In this second book of the Bible, Moses shares the plans God showed him on the mountain for the children of Israel.  Exodus 28 contains the guidelines for outfitting the priests.  Moses’ brother Aaron and Aaron’s sons were to be the priests.   Their garments were to be holy for glory and for beauty, made by gifted artisans.  Surely today we have never seen such craftsmanship of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread.  On Aaron’s shoulders he was to wear two stones set in gold, each with the names of six of the tribes of Israel, listed in order of birth.  On Aaron’s breastplate he wore an even more beautiful arrangement of twelve precious jewels, one for each of the tribes of Israel.  Aaron wore this over his heart, bearing the judgment of the children of Israel.  

So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.  Exodus 28:29 (NKJV)

Aaron was to wear this continually, bearing up the tribes of Israel to the Lord always.   In the same way, we are called to pray without ceasing, continually bearing up family, friends, loved ones, enemies, the sick, the hurting, leaders and nations… carrying them to Jesus without rest.  No wonder you feel like you have the world is on your shoulders!  But here’s the good news: You don’t have to carry it alone!  

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

As Christians we are all called to carry one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).  If your load is too heavy, how about getting together with some praying friends for an hour or two of prayer each week.  You can pray for your families and the country and everything else on your hearts.  Suddenly your load has become much lighter!

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Jesus also helps us carry the heavy load.  As we bring our prayers to the Father, He lifts them from us and gives us His light load instead.  Instead of sleepless nights, He gives us rest. Instead of anxiety, He gives us peace.  Instead of regrets, He gives us forgiveness. Instead of thirst, He gives us His Living Water.  Instead of hunger, He gives us Bread from heaven. Instead of pain, He gives us healing. Instead of tears, He gives us comfort. Instead of sorrow, He gives us joy. Instead of the heavy load, we carry only what He allows. He promises us this in His Word…

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read about Aaron’s garments in Exodus 28 today.  Draw a breastplate in your prayer journal with spaces for 12 “jewels.”  Write the names of 12 family members or friends or concerns that you want to bear up to the Lord Jesus.  How about calling a few friends to pray with you each week, too. Help each other carry your crosses daily.  Keep holding on, Jesus is coming soon!  

I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.  Psalm 81:6 (NKJV)

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. Psalm 30:11 (NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be [moved.  Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)

Here are three lovely versions of Kelly Willard’s 1978 hymn, “I Will Cast All My Cares Upon You.”



It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27

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

Fear Not, Dear One

Hello, Dear One!  It seems like a good time to re-run this devotion because of the war breaking out in eastern Europe.  God comforts us and says, “FEAR NOT” in His word.  Today I run this post from July 2021 with a few updates:

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming… John 12:5 (NKJV)

Hello, Dear One! I’m writing this for myself, as well as for you. Perhaps you’ve heard disturbing news recently that has you fearful? I know I have! Earlier this year a friend mentioned there are 365 Bible verses that tell us not to fear, one for each day of the year. When I have my quiet time with Jesus, I’ve been writing down the “fear not” verses He shows me in His Word.

Before I share those with you, let’s remember there is One we should fear — God. Joshua 4:24 says, “That you may fear the Lord your God forever.” That means we fear the Lord more than any person. We would rather please God than man, and so we obey all His commandments.

Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
Jeremiah 10:7 (NKJV)

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:5 (NKJV)

Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him. Psalm 34:9 (NKJV)

We must be like Daniel and his friends. Daniel did not fear the lions, he only wanted to please God with his prayers. Shadrack, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not fear the fiery furnace, they feared God and would not bow down to any idol. Dear One, we too must follow their examples and say…

If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18 (NKJV)

May we have such courage when we face fearful situations! From Genesis to Revelation, God tells us to FEAR NOT!

Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones…. Genesis 50:21 (NKJV)

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV)

You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 (NKJV)

You shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:18 (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 2 Chronicles 32:7 (NKJV)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day.
Psalm 91:5 (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Proverbs 3:25-26 (NKJV)

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
Isaiah 51:7 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 1:8 (NKJV)

But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:7 (NKJV)

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. Matthew 28:5 (NKJV)

...Do not be afraid; only believe. Mark 5:36 (NKJV)

...Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. Mark 6:50 (NKJV)

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

,,,Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. Revelation 1:17 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Daniel 3 and be encouraged by the story of Daniel’s courageous friends. Read Psalm 27 and be comforted by God’s Word. Perhaps you’d like to begin your own treasure hunt to find all 365 “fear not” verses. Underline them in your Bible, write them on notecards, put them where you will see them each day, and share them with your friends. Reading the Psalms may also quiet your fears, Psalm 140 is appropriate to pray at this time. Oh, Dear One, God has a plan, fear not!

Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)

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