Return To Gather

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 (NKJV)

Oh, how glad I was when I could go back to church. My first summer in Montana, twenty years ago, was spent at a church camp that didn’t really have a Sunday service at the time.  My soul was weary and longing to attend a gathering of believers in a real church building.  Finally, towards the end of August, we had a free Sunday to make the long drive to town to attend worship. How happy I was and how this verse rang true for me that day.  “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'”

The same thing happened last spring when our church re-opened after the COVID shut-downs.  Even though we had watched church online every Sunday, it just wasn’t the same as being there.  When you are there in person, you really sing out and praise God. You see other believers and pray for their families.  You are encouraged when you witness others serving Jesus.

…Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.  Isaiah 44:22 (NKJV)

We are still longing for everyone to return to church.  President Trump declared churches as essential so we can meet again.  But many are missing, as I’m sure is true for churches across the country.  We need everyone to RETURN TO GATHER across this land!  Return to Church, Return to Jesus, Return to God’s Word, Return to Prayer, Return to Biblical and Family Values, Return to Repentance, RETURN!

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)

If you have a health issue or have been quarantined (as recently happened to me), we understand why you can’t come in person and are thankful you can join a gathering of believers online.  But if you are healthy, come back together for fellowship with others. Do not let fear stop you from coming.  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). For if you don’t return, God will use the seed and the stump who remain and grow another Church, His Bride who eagerly awaits His coming!

And do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.  Matthew 3:9 (NKJV)

And if you weren’t in the habit of attending church before, now is a great time to come.  We invite you! We have a place for you!  What you will find when you come are broken people, searching our way in this world, finding hope in Jesus who gave His life for us on the cross.   

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: When  God said, “If My people…” He was not talking about all the people, He was talking about HIS PEOPLE, the ones called by His Name, the Christians, named for Jesus Christ.  It’s time for God’s people to gather together again and seek His face.  Come one and all. Come.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

P.S. I think your pastor will be delighted to see you, too!  

But yet a tenth will be in it,
And will return and be for consuming,
As a terebinth tree or as an oak,
Whose stump remains when it is cut down.
So the holy seed shall be its stump.  Isaiah 6:13 (NKJV)

The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
To the Mighty God.  Isaiah 10:21 (NKVJ)

P.P.S. Please keep praying for THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting every Tuesday, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever. 

Photo credit to Jolene Ewert-Hintz of Montana – Thank you!!!

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

The Intercessor

…by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  Romans 5:19 (NKJV)

My TEA friends, you must read this book!  My pastor mentioned Rees Howells Intercessor, The Story of a Life Lived for God by Norman Grubb in a sermon over a year ago.  I put it on my birthday list and my daughter gave it to me for my birthday last year (Thank you, Kallie!!!). Then it sat beside my bed in the stack of books I hoped to read.  Finally, this year I started reading it and couldn’t put it down for the work of God in this man’s life.  You want to read this book NOW. You want to join in this amazing work of prayer witnessed in Rees Howells’ life.  

Where many books climax in the middle and you “get the idea,” Intercessor climaxes in the final chapters as Mr. Howells and his praying colleagues intercede for battle upon battle of World War II and the downfall of Nazi Germany.  You will be on the edge of your seat as you read, or on your face in praise and tears to God, Who alone could bring about such great victories.

What makes Intercessor so relevant now is our need for prayer in this fallen world.  This year with COVID19, forest fires, hurricanes, derecho winds, and riots, God is sending us a message.  God is shouting, “Turn to Me!”  And in Intercessor, that’s what Rees Howells did time and again.  

One hundred years ago there was an outbreak much like COVID19.  Following World War I, there was a great influenza epidemic which spread over the world, causing millions of deaths. At the time, Mr. Howells and his wife were serving as missionaries in southern Africa.  The Holy Spirit had led Mr. Howells to challenge death many times before, and God called him to do it again.  After many of the natives died, the chief came to Mr. Howells and asked if any had died on the mission station.  “No. Not one will die on the mission station,” the Holy Spirit told him to reply, “The witch doctors have failed and the ancestral spirits have failed — but our God has not failed.” (Grubb, p. 212).    So the tribe members came to the mission station. Though many were sick and Mr. Howells turned the chapel into a hospital and cared for them for months, God healed them all and no one died! God had the victory!

While reading Intercessor, I’ve witnessed how the Holy Spirit is not a mailman delivering my prayers to the God.  Mr. Howells shows us it’s the other way around. The Holy Spirit says the prayers and we are the vessels to deliver them to the Father.  Knowing our prayers are God’s will, direct from the Holy Spirit, we don’t let the enemy cause us to doubt, for then we are like a wave tossed on the sea (James 1:6). The Holy Spirit tells us for whom to intercede, and in obedience we lift these prayers to the Lord until victory is won.  

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Find a copy of Rees Howells Intercessor today.  Use his model of prayer in your own life.  Let the Holy Spirit show you how to pray and win every battle on your knees.  We can do this because both the Spirit (Romans 8:26) and Jesus (Romans 8:24) are making intercession for us. Our country needs your prayers, dear friend.  Keep praying for the USA. 

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NKJV)

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

P.S. Please keep praying for THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting every Tuesday, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever. 

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

Grubb, Norman (1952). Rees Howells Intercessor, The Story of a Life Lived for God. Fort Washington, PA:  CLC Publications. 

Return to Jesus

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NKJV)

Dear Friends, God has put something heavy upon my heart to share with you.  As Christians, we are called to be His ambassadors, taking the Good News of His salvation to the lost.  I plead with you, I implore you, be reconciled to God through the saving work of His Son Jesus who died for your sins.  

We live in a broken world, the evidence is all around us…aborting babies, riots, evil being called good, good being called evil, plagues, hurricanes, forest fires… the list goes on.  When God first created the world it was good, but then satan the snake tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.  Eve shared it with Adam and our world hasn’t been the same since. God had to kick Adam and Eve out of His perfect garden and lock the gate because of their sin.

But God made a way to make things right again.  As the prophets foretold, He sent His only Son Jesus, who never sinned, to take on the sin of all the world.  Jesus died a very painful death, bearing all those sins because He loves us.  But that’s not the end of the story.  On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death forever and opening to all who believe in Him the gates of heaven and eternal life.  My friends, this is a free gift that we must accept NOW.  Now is the acceptable time, today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

Return to Jesus with all your heart and soul and might.  Ask for His forgiveness. Accept His free gift of salvation.  Fill your heart with His Holy Spirit and Word by reading your Bible every day.  Tell others about Jesus, being an ambassador for Him.

There is a movement called The Return which I want you to check out.  Dedicated Christians have been planning this event for months. Though it may be smaller because of the COVID19 restrictions, our prayers can be BIGGER because we serve an awesome God who can do amazingly more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).  The event runs September 18-28, with September 26 being the big day, but our prayers can continue 40 days to the election and even beyond.  Please check out the link above and invite others to join us in prayer for our nation.

Today’s TEA CUPP: If you haven’t prayed the sinners prayer, please pray with me right now…Dear Jesus, I want to be in your family.  I want to be Your child and be washed clean from all the bad things I’ve done in my life, all the times I didn’t listen to You, all the times I went my own way.  Please scrub away all my selfishness and pride and everything else I’ve done that is not of You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and be with me each day.  Help me walk on Your straight and narrow path.  I believe You are my Savior who died for my sins. I believe You rose again and are preparing a place for me in heaven. I believe You are the only Way, the only Lord, the only God.  Please help me live as Your daughter from this moment forward.  Thank you for loving me and dying for me and letting me be in Your family.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

P.S. Please keep praying for THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting every Tuesday, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever. 

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

Prayer Works!

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous worksPsalm 9:1 (NKJV)

On a sunny August morning, I sat on the porch of my daughter’s home in Wisconsin, reading my Bible as cars buzzed by on her busy street.  It had already been a doozy of a day, waking at 5 a.m. to a doggie mess in the house.  After a good scrubbing all around, I finally had my tea and Bible in hand and headed out to the “quiet” of the front porch before the kids woke up.  There, with morning glory vines creeping up behind my bench and blue skies above, I was so thankful to rest in God’s Word for a time.  

This was my fourth visit to Wisconsin this year since our granddaughter Kennedy was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma cancer. During a pandemic when most people stayed home, this homebody was traveling more than ever. By God’s grace and mercy, He gave us safe passage, provision, and good health every time.  On our first visit in February, I anointed Kennedy and her home with oil and prayer.  On our second visit from March to April, I prayed for her to walk again.  At that same time all the schools and churches shut down due to the coronavirus. I wrote last spring of our visit…

My feet often took me past the old St. Mary’s Church and School.  The stately bricks told a story of generations coming to worship Jesus.  I laid my hands on the side of the church building and prayed for God to fill this church again with His people and Holy Spirit.  I prayed for God to sweep this land with a revival and healing.  I prayed for God’s people to come.

During my third visit at the end of May, that very church began meeting again! When other churches were still closed, this one was among the first to begin worship services. Praise the Lord! And shortly after my May visit, Kennedy took her first steps.  More praise to Jesus, for I had prayed months before…

“Talitha, Cumi.  Little girl, arise.  Do your miracles, Jesus!”

And then, during my August visit,  as I sat on the porch bench that day, I saw school kids going by on the sidewalk and school buses carrying more children, and I realized school was starting that very day! Neighboring districts were only having online school, but in my daughter’s town they were meeting in person. Another praise! School was beginning at St. Mary’s school where I had prayed last spring…  

Then I walked over to the school buildings and laid my hands on those bricks and prayed for the return of the children, for God’s blessing on the students and teachers and families. I prayed especially for healing for my granddaughter so she can be in the preschool next fall. I walked to the playground and prayed again for the children to return and for their safely there. 

We are still hopeful for Kennedy to return to preschool, perhaps in January 2021.  When something exciting happened during this recent visit, Kennedy exclaimed, “I’m going to tell my whole preschool class!”  She still feels a strong connection to the group of children she hasn’t seen since last winter.  One evening as I was helping her with a bath, Kennedy pointed to her chest, scarred by a chemo port and tummy pokes, and told me, “Jesus is in my heart.” Oh, this Grandma is so thankful!

And so I will keep praying, because I know God hears and answers prayers.  Prayer works!  I will keep praying for Jesus’ complete healing of Kennedy as she endures these next two months of hard chemo and steroids, and then two years of maintenance chemo.  I will keep praying for our country to repent and turn to Jesus, so He can heal our land and so that all churches and schools can meet.  I will keep praying because prayer works.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, keep praying.  I know some days can be discouraging (especially when they begin with doggie messes) and it seems like God doesn’t hear, but He really, really does.  He loves you so much that He died and rose for you. He has a wonderful plan for your life.  He wants you to talk to Him every day and He will speak to you through His Word and Holy Spirit.  Keep praying. Prayer works because Jesus never stops working.  

…He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:3-4

The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer. Psalm 6:9 (NKJV)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14 (NKJV)

P.S. Please continue to pray for Kennedy.  We couldn’t fight this battle without all of you, dear prayer friends. Kennedy needs your prayers more than ever as she endures more really tough chemo and steroids. All glory be to Jesus for her healing!

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

 

 

 

 

4:7 AGAIN

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

Today I continue my series of running devotions for My TEA CUPP for Athletes & Runners Book & Journal. I pray these will be a blessing to you and you will be encouraged to PRESS ON!

Has God put a dream and passion in your heart? Is there something you really feel called to do or achieve that can bring Him glory? I had a dream like that. When I was 18, God gave me the dream to run a marathon, but then life happened and I forgot that dream for a time. But God didn’t forget, He let me live out the dream over 34 years later!

I ran my first marathon with God’s help in Bozeman, Montana last fall. My goal was to run it in 4 hours.  After 8 miles my legs were hurting, at 18 miles I was ready to stop, but I pressed on. At 22 miles some fellow hollered that I could break 4 hours if I kept going, so I kept going, but crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 7 minutes. 

I was so thankful to Jesus to be done, thankful to be close to 4 hours, yet a bit disappointed to not have made my goal.  But later, when sharing a meal with my family, I asked my college son Kevin to look up the reference for “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.”  He found it in his smartphone BIBLE.  The verse comes from 2 Timothy 4:7, 4:7 just like my time, 4 hours and 7 minutes. It was then I knew that God had His hand in the entire race, I was in His will.  

My times are in Your hand… Psalm 31:15 (NKJV)

A week after my marathon, I visited my daughter in Wisconsin and heard the joyful news that she was expecting again. After two miscarriages, this was a miracle from God. We prayed for my daughter and her baby all winter and made plans to visit as her due date of March 31st approached. We arrived on March 22, ready to help in any way we could. March 31 came and went with no baby. A week later, we were still waiting for Baby Robin to arrive.

In the wee hours of April 7th, my daughter went into labor. Around breakfast time, she and her husband headed to the hospital. I thought this baby would surely be here by lunchtime. With big sister Kennedy off to her appointment with her Nana, I headed out for a run. As I was running, this verse from Second Timothy came into my head. I realized that the date was April 7, 4/7. I also realized what the verse said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” And as I was running I screamed out to God, “No! My daughter’s race is not over! Help her deliver this baby! Bring them both home healthy and strong!”

Dinnertime arrived and there was still no baby. Baby Robin was just too big at 10 pounds, 15 ounces. The doctors decided to do a C-section and finally Baby Robin was born. My daughter finished the race of delivering her baby. Praise God!

I’ve often thought that running is much easier than delivering a baby. If I wanted to, I could stop running at any time (though I rarely do that, but it’s nice to know I have that option). But when you go into labor to deliver a baby, there is no stopping or turning back. This baby is on the way!

Today’s TEA CUPP: Praise Jesus for babies! Praise Jesus for being our strength for running races and delivering babies! Praise Jesus for His Word, as in 2 Timothy 4:7, that encourages us to finish the race, keeping our faith in Him. Keep fighting the good fight, dear runners. Read your Bible, say your prayers, and run your workouts. Keep the faith!

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV)

Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:16 (NKJV)

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

A One Verse Prayer

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

I love it when one verse says it all.  Memorize this verse, Psalm 40:17, and you will have a prayer on your lips whenever you need it!  

But I am poor and needy... this is UNDERSTANDING our story, we are poor and needy. Without Jesus we have nothing. He provides everything we need, food, clothing, family, shelter, salvation… We can spend time THANKING the Lord for His many blessings. It can also be a time for ADMITTING our sins. We are poor because of our sins and desperately need a Savior, Jesus, to rescue us.

Yet the Lord thinks upon me... let us claim this wonderful PROMISE! The Lord is thinking about you! He is thinking about me. He never stops thinking about us. Imagine that, here we are, lost in our troubles, yet God , the Creator of the whole universe is thinking about us. Wow!

You are my help and my deliverer here again we can claim God’s PROMISE to help us and deliver us from whatever we are facing. And we join the voices through eternity, EXALTING our God, our Helper, our Deliverer.

Do not delay, O my God... and finally, the plea from one who depends on God for all her needs. Do not delay, O my God. I pour out my PETITIONS before you. Hear the cry of my heart. Take care of all my loved ones, my neighbors, all my troubles, our nation and world today. Do not delay, O my God.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Write Psalm 40:17 in your prayer journal today and every day this week. Memorize it. Pray it as you are driving or washing dishes or working in the garden or taking a shower. Use this one verse to cry out to the Lord.

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

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

A Chronicles TEA

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!..
1 Chronicles 16:36 (NKJV)

When God allowed His people to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, David sang a beautiful song of praise to the Lord. These verses of David’s song and those in the story around it provide words we can use when we pray to Jesus.

As churches re-open following COVID-19 and people once again gather together to worship, we have as much to celebrate as the Israelites did so long ago. Let’s rock the heavens and earth with our worship and joy to the Lord!

T is for Thanksgiving

Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
1 Chronicles 16:29 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order. 1 Chronicles 15:13 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God. 1 Chronicles 17:22 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

And now, Lord, you are God, and have promised this goodness to Your servant. 1 Chronicles 17:26 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:35 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 as one beautiful prayer to God. Finally, dear sisters, finish your prayer time today with this Psalm of praise from 1 Chronicles 16:31…

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
1 Chronicles 16:31 (NKJV)

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

God bless Paul Baloche for his beautiful music to praise Jesus!

“Well, I’m sure praying!”

…Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord… Zechariah 8:21 (NJKV)


“Well, I’m sure praying!” exclaimed Kennedy, when she learned her baby brother would be delivered by C-section.

Kennedy’s mommy had been in labor since the wee morning hours, trying to deliver her almost eleven-pound baby brother. Now it was supper time and he wasn’t coming out. The doctors decided to do a C-section to safely deliver little Robin. Kennedy, who is well-acquainted with doctor procedures from her continuing battle with cancer, wanted to know what that meant.

As simply as we could, her two grandmas explained the doctors would cut open her mommy’s tummy to get out the baby. Some children might wonder why they don’t just do that in the first place. But Kennedy’s reply was, “Well, I’m sure praying!”

Kennedy’s response sent both grandmas to tears, thinking of all the times friends and family have said the same to Kennedy over the past few months. So many people are praying for this sweet four-year-old with T-cell lymphoma, and many have told her, “Well, I’m sure praying.” We are so thankful for those prayers as Kennedy’s battle rages on.

What started as a cough in January turned out to be a tumor engulfing her entire chest cavity, pressing on her heart and lungs. January 30, 2020 was the last normal day for Kennedy as she went to preschool. When her mommy (my daughter Kallie) came to pick her up, Kennedy was just sitting at the top of the playground, not moving. Kallie made an appointment with the doctor for the next day. At the doctor office they sent Kennedy directly to the emergency room, thinking she had pneumonia. The ER doctors called Milwaukee Children’s Hospital which sent an ambulance to transport Kennedy. There, Kennedy’s cancer was diagnosed. On February 1, 2020, she began chemo and steroids to wipe out the tumor.

With great joy we celebrated the tumor was gone after the first month. But because doctors don’t know if every cancer cell is gone from her body, they must continue treatments. Past studies have shown that continuing treatments gives a 90% survival rate. So Kennedy continues high doses of chemo for six months, and then monthly chemo for two additional years.

The first month of powerful steroids and chemo left Kennedy almost life-less, with no muscles like a newborn baby. Slowly she regained the use of her neck, arms, and upper body, making playtime on the sofa a favorite activity. In recent weeks, she has learned to crawl and scoot herself backwards up the stairs. We pray that soon Kennedy will be walking and running again.

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. Acts 3:6 (NKJV)

The chemo has also wrecked havoc on Kennedy’s tummy, making her unable to eat very much. She is so thin, please pray for her to eat and gain weight again. These first six months of the strong chemo are the worst for her. Kennedy also gets blood, platelets and fluids often, as her little body fights the chemo and disease.

Another night at dinner, Kennedy’s daddy invited her to say the prayer. My children never wanted to pray out loud when they were that young, but brave little Kennedy jumped at the opportunity and began her prayer, “Dear Lord Jesus..thank you for Joel taking care of my pet toads and thank you for my physical therapy… Once again the grandmas were in tears as a little girl called on the name of the Lord Jesus and gave Him thanks for little things.

…Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13 (NKJV)

And so I claim this promise for precious Kennedy. May Jesus save and heal her completely! Thank you for continuing to pray for our little granddaughter.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Who in your life needs prayers? Have you told them, “Well, I’m sure praying?” Then remember to lift them up often to the Lord Jesus. He will hear your every prayer.

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you… 1 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read When the TEA Spills, Talitha Cumi, and Are Ye Able?

,

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

Bike Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)

Last fall I had the joy of sharing this message with my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. Now that spring is here and summer is on the way, more kids are out bike-riding, so it is a good time to share this message again.

Over 25 years ago, I attended a MOPS group in Cincinnati, Ohio while my husband Kent worked for the Cincinnati Nature Center.  One week the guest speaker was an emergency room doctor.  He told us of all the head injuries he saw from children not wearing bike helmets and implored us to make our children wear bike helmets. 

My kids were only three-years and new-born at the time, but the message stuck with me.  I made them wear helmets all their growing up years.  Our son Kevin road his bike around the camp where we lived from home to dining hall to craft cabin so much that he just left his bike helmet on all day.   Bless dear Jacob who continued to wear his helmet as a teenager while skateboarding, even when the other boys quit wearing them.  Today my kids still wear helmets, including my second-grade son Joel in this recent picture near our home (taken just before Montana turned green this spring).

Today I want to share about a dear friend who forgot her helmet one day.  Paulette is a huge part of my testimony, encouraging me as a young believer. She opened her heart and home to me and kept writing to me for years in her delicate handwriting. 

Fourteen years ago, Paulette was critically injured after falling off her bicycle. She was riding a regular bike just a few blocks from her home to her daughter Kelley’s house. When the pavement ended and she hit gravel, something caused her to fall – HARD – on her left side. Paulette was not wearing a helmet. Her head received the full impact just above and behind her left ear, which caused her brain to hit against the right side of her skull and a blood clot immediately began forming.

Paulette had emergency surgery to remove the clot and a small portion of the right part of her brain.  Along with other broken bones, doctors didn’t expect her to live. But today, 14 years later, by God’s grace and miracles, Paulette is cared for by her loving husband and caregiver.  She communicates only through her eyes and little sounds, and cannot move or care for herself. 

Before the accident, Paulette verbally witnessed for Jesus. Today Paulette and her family are a witness for the faithfulness of Jesus in the midst of trials, and they tell people to WEAR YOUR BIKE HELMET! 

Just as we all should wear a helmet when bike-riding, we all need God’s Helmet of Salvation to keep us safe in this world. God’s armor protects us from an enemy who attacks our minds, making us doubt, worry, question, not trust, be anxious and so on. Just as the helmet protects a biker’s head, the Helmet of Salvation protects our minds. Putting on your Helmet of Salvation proclaims you are a child of God.

How do we put on our Helmet of Salvation? A jailer asked that very same question in Acts 16. When the prison doors miraculously opened, Paul and Silas didn’t try to escape. The prison guard asked,

…“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31 (NKJV)

That’s all we need to do: BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10 goes on to say…

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

Moms and grandmas, you have the perfect age kids with whom you can share Jesus and bike helmets. You can start your kids wearing bike helmets when they are just toddlers, so they won’t think a thing about it when they are older.  You can teach your kids about Jesus every day, praying at meals and at bedtime, reading BIBLE stories, and going on nature walks to explore God’s creation. Talk about Jesus when you sit down, when you rise up, and when you clip on those bike helmets!

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Acts 16:16-34 for the amazing story of the jailer who put on his Helmet of Salvation. I plead with you, as Paul, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Pray to Jesus now, asking Him to be your Savior . Welcome to God’s family, dear sister! I hope you and your children will eagerly wear your Helmets of Salvation, as well as your bike helmets!

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 (NKJV)

Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth. Isaiah 45:22

… Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29 (NKJV)

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

Plague Upon Plague, Hope Upon Hope

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Our country and world have been besieged by the Coronavirus and quarantines this spring, disrupting the lives of many and causing grief and depression to those who have lost loved ones and jobs. As I read my Bible, I see how plagues such as COVID-19 are not a new thing.

You are probably tired of hearing about plagues.  You would rather read about summer time and beaches and picnics and healthy children.  Yet here I am writing about plagues again, because God showed me some cool truths in His Word. And because He gives us HOPE.

Do you remember what God used to rescue His people from Egypt? PLAGUES!  Ten Plagues! (Blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn son, Ex. 7-10).  Could God be using plagues to rescue His people again? After they escaped Pharaoh, the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giant people, so God sent another plague upon them. During this plague, Moses prayed…

“Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:19-21 (NKJV)

Moses prayed for their forgiveness which ended the plague. We should be praying for forgiveness, too! During another plague when the people were grumbling against the two leaders…


Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.Numbers 16:46-50 (NKJV)

The incense stopped the plagues. Our prayers are like that INCENSE! In both the Psalms and Revelation, our prayers are described as incense…

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

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)

God sent another plague when David took an unnecessary census of the people…

So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:15-16 (NKJV)

And do you know what was built at the place where the plague stopped, on that threshing floor? The Temple of the Lord! And when King Solomon dedicated the Temple he prayed,

Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men).1 Kings 8:38-39 (NKJV)

As King Solomon proclaimed, we all have a plague in our own hearts. We need to turn to the Temple and pray and He will forgive! Where is that Temple? Jesus is the Temple! (Rev. 21:22) Therefore…let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensares us (Heb. 12:1). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

Jesus is the cure, friends!  Jesus is the One to forgive our sins, end the plague, and heal our land.  He is the One who will put our lives back together.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of His saving work on the cross, we are washed clean by His blood.  Jesus is our Hope upon Hope! He gives us hope to make it through each day, and hope of eternal life in heaven. Turn to Jesus in prayer today!  

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prayer is the first step in stopping the plague across our land, first confessing our own sins to the Lord, and then confessing the sins of our nation. Our prayers are the incense that will end the plague. To God be the glory and may He heal our land!

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like Tea by the Temple and The Door of Hope. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!

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