Our Thanksgiving Chain

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 (NKJV)

One of my favorite Thanksgiving devotions from my new book, Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers, is an activity I’ve shared over the years with you, a Thanksgiving chain.

The first part of the TEA CUPP is “T” is for Thanksgiving. It’s eternally important for moms to model thankfulness to our children, so here is a project to help you do just that.  This thankfulness activity will carry your family from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas.

First, count the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas on your calendar (this year it’s only 27 days). Next, cut out that many strips of colored paper, approximately one-inch by six inches. Grab your Bible, the paper strips, some markers, and a stapler, and gather the family around your kitchen table.

Read a Psalm of Thanksgiving, such as Psalm 136.
● Talk about things for which you are thankful.
● Divide the strips of paper between all family members.
● Everyone can use markers to write blessings on their paper strips. Older family members may assist younger family members.
● When everyone is finished, mix up the paper strips. Curl one strip into a circle and staple it. Run another strip through the first circle and staple it to itself. Continue stapling strips until you have a long chain of circles.
● Hold the chain around the table and let family members read the items together as you thank Jesus.
● Hang the chain on a nail in the kitchen so you can see how many days until Christmas.
● Each morning at breakfast, let one person tear off the bottom link of the chain. Say a prayer of thanks again for whatever is listed on that slip of paper.
● Each day the chain will get shorter until it’s Christmas.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Plan to do this activity with your family at Thanksgiving. Talk with your kids about God’s blessings. Some families keep a thankful jar. Every time they find something for which they are thankful, a blessing, answered prayer, etc., they write it on a slip of paper and put it in the thankful jar. He’s blessed us so much we can’t even name them all.

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
Psalm 40:5

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Choosing Life

We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind… Isaiah 26:18 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago we had sad news from our daughter.  She and her husband were losing a baby at just 8 1/2 weeks in the womb.  I know miscarriages happen all the time, I know how awful it feels, because it’s happened to us three times.  Yet, the pain is still there when it happens again to another loved one.

Just a week earlier I had shared about our babies at a local church.  I realized as I was preparing for the talk, that I hadn’t cried in a long time.  God had allowed us a time of peace.  Then, boom (that’s how things always hit, isn’t it?), the heart-breaking news from our daughter.  A little grandbaby is joining our babies in heaven.  Our hearts were torn open once again. Our daughter put this beautiful post on her Facebook page:

How we pray for God to comfort them  and bless them with another sweet baby to ease their hurting hearts! I pray this for all moms who have lost babies.  May Jesus send a child for you to love and cherish. Just this month in my Samaritan Ministries prayer guide, where we pray for one person a day (and I only have a small portion of people whose last names begin with “W”), there were 11 babies and two were miscarriages. Many moms and dads are hurting out there.

For some people, though, there is pain through bad choices.  Woman have been lied to in the United States for almost 50 years that they have a choice to make for babies.  It is the serpent from Genesis whispering into Eve’s ear that he has something better for her. This is not new, for we read in the Bible https://www.ncmh.info/valium-diazepam/ verses that make me cry…

Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,
And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not spare children.  Isaiah 13:18 (NKJV)

Satan brings death.  Jesus gives life.  I exhort you to choose life your baby, no matter what. And if it is too late and the decision is behind you, come to Jesus, my friend, and find the forgiveness and healing for which you are longing.  His arms are wide open for you. Someday we will see all these babies in heaven! If only we could match all these babies with the empty arms and hearts that are longing for a child.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oh, Jesus, our hearts break when babies die before they have a chance to be born due to miscarriage. It hurts that people are choosing to kill babies before they are born through abortion.  It’s unbearable to hear of little ones being hurt and killed.  We know we live in a fallen world where pain and sickness happen, but it still hurts.  Please wash away our pain. Forgive us.  Pour your oil of joy on our hurts.  Comfort our hearts. Give us beauty for ashes. Help us to honor the lives you have given us.   We look forward to seeing our precious little ones with You in heaven someday. Thank you, dearest Jesus.  

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

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

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


“Thank you, dearest Jesus”

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:13 (NKJV)

A miracle happened in our town last week.  You had to be there to believe.  It was one of the worst days of winter with deep snow and sub-zero temperatures.  One look out the window made you just want to sit at home by a fire.  But we couldn’t.  A special event was planned for some dear friends.  Their son Jake needs a kidney transplant.  A small group organized a benefit dinner and auction to help raise money for his expenses.

I arrived at 4:45 p.m. to set up my cook book table, another fundraiser for Jake.  A few people were gathered here and there around the American Legion, looking at auction items and visiting.  Servers were busy lining up roasting pans, lovingly prepared that morning. Long blue tables set up by Jake’s 4H club the day before, waited expectantly for guests.   Would all those chairs fill?

By 5:15 p.m., more people came through the door, shaking the snow and cold from boots and jackets.  People began to sit at the tables. At 5:30 p.m. our pastor said grace and folks started going through the food line.  Pulled-pork sandwiches, potatoes, coleslaw and goodies filled their plates.  And the people kept coming through the door.  I imagine some people lost their seats to new arrivals when they were up getting their food.

By 7:00 p.m., the Legion was jam-packed, with hardly any standing room, the food was mostly gone, and the auction began.  Items were donated from people in our town, our county, and across our state! What was planned as a three hour event, lasted for six hours, with folks finally heading home at 11:30 p.m. We later learned that in those 6 hours, 600 people came and $60,000 was raised to help Jake.  That’s $100/person and $10,000 an hour!  Wouldn’t you call that a miracle?

Why did this happen? Because God wanted it to happen!  He blessed this event because all glory was given to Him by Jake’s mom and dad, Wendy and Ode.  This family is so dear, always https://tramadolmain.com giving so much to others…baking cookies, taking a meal, driving someone to an appointment, helping with ranch chores, praying for us… you name it!  And so we all wanted to give back to them.

The same day as the auction, Wendy received the incredible news that she is a perfect match to give her son Jake a kidney.  I was so happy for her, I cried.  I realized on my way home, that even though we all wanted to give so much to Jake, we can’t out-give his mom who gets to give him the gift of life twice!

And I know Wendy will want me to tell you, the same is true with Jesus.  Jesus also gives us the gift of life twice…once when we are born and once when we are born-again, confessing that Jesus is Lord.

So many of us want to give back to Jesus, for all He has done for us, for washing away our sins and giving us the hope of eternal life. We want to give offering at church, we want to teach Sunday school, serve cookies, help a neighbor…all things Jesus wants us to do.

But when it comes down to it, we can’t out-give God.  For He gave His only Son.  We just have to accept His free gift and say, “Thank you, dearest Jesus.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Please keep praying for Jake, Wendy, Ode and all their family.  Next week doctors will remove one of Jake’s kidneys and he’ll go on dialysis to clean up his system.  Then this spring, his mom will give him a kidney.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

If you’d like to support the family by purchasing a cook book, you can stop by or contact the Big Timber Evangelical Church (PO Box 696, Big Timber, MT  59011).  Cookbooks are only $15, full of small town delicious cooking!

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. 1 John 4:9 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Promises: For our children

Today’s TEA CUPP: Praying God’s Word.

Here’s a PROMISE from God’s Word to claim during our TEA CUPP time with Jesus today:

 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with http://www.healthsupportyou.com/viagra/ those who fear Him,
   and His righteousness with their children’s children.  Psalm 103:17 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Heaven is for Real

I just read the most wonderful page-turner called “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo.  Friends have been telling me for months I need to read this book, and finally I borrowed a copy from my dear neighbor Marie.

This true story describes the journey of an almost four-year old boy who goes to heaven while undergoing a late surgery for appendicitis.  In the months following the surgery the boy, Colton, shares his heavenly experience with his parents.

Things I love about this book:

The description of Jesus in the throne room with God.  When I pray to Jesus, I have a vague picture of Jesus in my mind.  Because Colton went to heaven for three minutes during his appendicitis surgery, I now have an image of the throne room of God.  Colton tells his parents all about the rainbow colors of heaven and how Jesus sits at the right hand of His Dad.  On the left side sits the angel Gabriel.  Colton even meets John the Baptist and God the Holy Spirit who is sort of “blue.”  I now have this picture in my mind as I have my TEA CUPP prayer time with Jesus each morning.

When Pastor Todd (Colton’s dad) is ranting at God in the hospital, asking God “is this how you treat your pastors?!!!”   Todd had just endured a year of testing with three major attacks on his own health.  Now was God going to take his son?  No!  Jesus showed Todd’s son the wonders of heaven and sent Colton back to earth in answer to Todd’s prayer.  Wow!  I love that we can be real with God and share our deepest hurts.  How many times did I ask God, “Is this how you treat your church camp managers?”  when fires and flooding and financial troubles engulfed us.   The Lord loves us so much that He hears and answers our prayers, despite our anger and doubts.

The promise that our unborn babies are waiting for us in heaven.  In one chapter we learn that Colton has two sisters, his older sister Cassie on earth and another sister he met in heaven. This heavenly sister was miscarried at just two months gestation, but Colton’s parents had never told him about her.  They didn’t even know she was a girl!  What hope this gives me with the three babies we have lost. They are all waiting for me in heaven.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  You need to read this tear-jerker if you are…

Wondering what heaven will be like,
Need reassurance that Jesus hears your prayers,
Or have ever lost a baby or child.  You will be blessed.
Heaven is definitely for real!

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:1-4 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



God is Able

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)

The worship service had ended at camp Sunday evening when one of the guests turned to my husband. “I have a message for you,”  he said. He read the verse above from 2 Corinthians, stressing “God is able” and “you.” This fellow is a brand new friend we just met over the weekend.  Three things make this very cool to me:

1)  Our new friend heard God telling him to share God’s Word and he obeyed.

2)  Without even knowing my husband’s current trials and decisions, our new friend had just the right words to share.

3)  GOD IS ABLE!  Wow!

What are you facing today?  I don’t know what troubles or decisions are going on in your life, but I want to share this  promise with you.  GOD IS ABLE.  He will carry us through the deepest valley and across the widest river.  He will comfort us in sorrow and celebrate with us in joy.  He will provide for all our needs according to His riches in glory.  GOD IS ABLE.

Now the question is, “Am I able?”

by Earl S. Marlatt, 1926 , Music by Harry S. Mason, 1924
“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with Me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall http://xanaxonlinebuy.com be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

Are ye able to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a place in paradise?

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

Are ye able when the shadows
Close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God?

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

Are ye able? Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

Today’s TEA CUPP: So often troubles in life surprise me with a fierceness.  I can boldly sing the song above, yet when my time comes for trials, I collapse into puddle of doubt.  How do you handle life’s difficulties?  Let’s together claim God’s promise, “GOD IS ABLE.”

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (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)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

In Loving Memory

The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:21 (NKJV)

In Loving Memory of Our Babies…

Gloria Anne

July 25, 2009

Angelica May

November 6, 2009

Gabriella Hope

June 10, 2010

Children of the heavenly Father
Safely in His bosom gather
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge ne’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, please hold our babies for me until you call me home.

“Children of the Heavenly Father” hymn by Carolina Sandell Burg
Traditional Swedish Melody, translated by Ernst W. Olson

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

“Good boy, Mommy.”

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

Moms should definitely keep a journal of all the cute things their kids say.  I happened to be writing a lot when our son Kevin was little, recording some of his funny “Kevin-isms.”  One time when he was 2 1/2 Kevin asked me to pick up a crayon he had dropped on the floor.  After I had returned the crayon to him, Kevin thanked me by saying, “Good boy, Mommy!”

“Good boy, Mommy!”  – that is what I hope you hear every day, from your children and from your heavenly Father.  I know that sometimes Satan tries to discourage us and tell us we aren’t good at this job called motherhood.  He tells us we messed up and should do more, say more, say less, help more, help less…we just can’t win with Satan bringing us down.  As we pray for our children each day, we must close our ears to those false words and open our hearts to the life-giving words of Jesus Christ.

Have TEA with Jesus each morning and hear Him say these encouraging words to you, dear daughter of the King:

“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:28 (NKJV)

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called
you by your name;
are Mine. Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11 (NIV)

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28 (NIV)

The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet
you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48 (NIV)

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

“Good boy, Mommy!”

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Mom’s Favorite Prayer Verses

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4 (NKJV)

Each morning I pray for our kids during My TEA CUPP time with Jesus.  Here are some of my favorite verses I pray over my children…

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16 (NKJV)

Keep (Kallie) as the apple of Your eye;
hide (Kallie) in the shadow of Your wings.
Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

Do not withhold Your mercy from (Jacob), O LORD;
may Your love and Your truth always protect (Jacob).
Psalm 40:11 (NIV)

Send forth Your light and Your truth,
let them guide (Kevin);
let them bring (Kevin) to Your holy mountain,
to the place where You dwell.
Psalm 43:3 (NIV)

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart.
Proverbs 3:1  (NIV)

Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as
for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5 (NKJV)

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them, for they https://xanaxcost.com will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
for the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Proverbs 3:21-26 (NLT)

Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.

Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
Proverbs 4:4-5 (NIV)

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to Your word.
Psalm 119:9 (NIV)

You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. Deuteronomy 8:5 (NKJV)

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40 (NIV)

I underline these verses in my Bible and write my children’s names next to the verses and pray God’s Word for my children.  What verses do you pray for your children?

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Kevin’s Story

“Dear Mom and Dad, I want to be a Christgun,” the crumpled paper proclaimed.

I’m sure many of you praying moms have stories like this one I’m going to share today.  I don’t have stories for our older two children, because they became Christians on their own or at youth group. But our youngest child invited us to be part of his journey.  I’m so thankful he did, so I can share his story with you…

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory
above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants
You have ordained praise.
Psalm 8:1-2 (NIV)

February 25, 2008 was a very special day because on that day Kevin Jon  became a Christian!

We had quiche for dinner, one of Kevin’s favorite meals. He served himself a big slice, but then didn’t eat anything. He complained of a tummy ache. We suggested he take a nice hot bath and put on his pajamas.

After his bath, our seven-year-old Kevin sat on the sofa and read Garfield comics while sucking on a popcicle.   Soon I saw him with note paper and pencil, writing a message. I asked who he was writing, and Kevin just smiled.

A little while later, Kevin tossed the note to me.  I opened it to find the best message ever:
“Dear Mom and Dad, I want to be a Christgun.”

I told Kevin I was so happy and what a happy day this was.
After reading a story, I tucked Kevin into bed.  Daddy came, too, and we both listened as Kevin asked Jesus into his heart so he could be a Christian.

While we were waiting for Daddy to join us, I had asked Kevin if there was a verse that made him want to be a Christian (I was thinking of John 3:16 or another verse he had learned at Awana).  Kevin surprised me by reciting a verse he wrote for handwriting that week from Matthew: “Come to terms quickly before it is too late.”

Thank you, dear Jesus, for calling Kevin to be Your child. Please help us be good parents for him and continue to teach and guide him. Please fill Kevin with Your Holy Spirit and keep him following You all his days. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Matthew 5:25 (AMP)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation