Thanksgiving with Kennedy

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.  Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)

Many of you know that last winter our then three-year-old granddaughter Kennedy was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma cancer.  She began chemo on February 1 of this year and it has been quite a long journey.  Kennedy is most certainly one who has dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, and on her God’s light has shined.

Last week we had the joy of spending Thanksgiving with Kennedy and her family.  I thought I’d share a few pictures this week as a way of bringing you up-to-date on Kennedy, and thanking all of you who have been praying this whole year! God bless you all!

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1 (NKJV)
Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?  Jeremiah 8:22 (NKJV)

Oh, how many times have we cried out this prayer to God?  Earlier this fall, Kennedy was very sick in the hospital. Yet we know there is a Great Physician named Jesus who is healing Kennedy day by day.  Kennedy recently began her maintenance chemo which includes a week of treatment at the beginning of each month for two years.  She enjoys the time-off between treatments. Jesus is bringing health to the daughter of our people!

As you can see, Kennedy is looking much better as she serves three monkeys their Thanksgiving dinner.

And their message will spread like cancer… 2 Timothy 2:17 (NKJV)

Does it seem like cancer is everywhere today, like it’s a new thing?  I was interested to find this verse in 2 Timothy about the false messages being spread like cancer, so they had it way back in Bible times, too.  We don’t like cancer or false messengers!  We love Jesus and healing through Him!

“For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord… Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV)

This is the promise we claim for Kennedy, as we go for walks, as we read stories, as she plays…Jesus will restore health to her! The little girl who once sat in the corner of the sofa, propped up by pillows, unable to walk, is now running, playing, and turning somersaults! Praise Jesus!

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1 (NKJV)

I thank Jesus for being able to visit Kennedy five times this year (even in a year full of coronavirus and closures), and every time we had safe travels and stayed healthy. God is so good.  I’m thankful for each of you who prayed and for her strong family in Wisconsin. I’m especially thankful for our Thanksgiving together where Kennedy opened our meal in prayer.

I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I can’t thank you enough for being faithful prayer warriors, dear friends.  Keep praying. Keep praying for your loved ones in your family and community and the USA. God hears your every prayer.

...I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you… 2 Kings 20:5 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading My TEA CUPP Prayers!  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read, Prayer Works!, Well, I’m sure praying!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abounding in Hope

Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord
Psalm 31:24 (NKJV)

Yesterday was the presidential election in the USA.  As I write this, we don’t know the outcome of the voting.  2020 was the year of COVID19 around the world.  As I write this, we don’t know the outcome of the virus.  Our four-year-old granddaughter is in her tenth month of cancer treatment for T-cell lymphoma.  Chemo will continue another two years, so as I as I write this, we don’t know the outcome of her health.  

But there is an outcome I know!  I know that JESUS IS ALIVE (Luke 24:6) and sits on the throne of heaven (Heb. 12:2).  He has conquered sin and death (Heb. 2:14) and is alive forevermore and He is coming again to put the devil in his place.  The exciting conclusion has already been written for us by God in Revelation in our Bibles.  We can all rest in the Amazing Hope that Jesus is coming back to set everything right!  He is coming back to reign (Rev. 1:7, 11:15), so we won’t need elections. He is coming back to heal, so we won’t have viruses or cancers (Rev. 21:4).  Jesus is coming back so we can abound in hope!

Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.  Isaiah 40:10 (NKJV)

So, what can we do until then, as we go through so many trials?  We can glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5:3-5). 

We can also glory in the Lord for…Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable (Is. 40:28).

And, we can trust God who has great plans for us! For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart (Jer. 29:11-13).

Today’s TEA CUPP: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13). I hope in God for the USA.  I hope in Jesus for healing our world from COVID (not with a vaccine).  I hope in the Lord for Kennedy’s healing from cancer.  What are you hoping for today? 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.  Psalm 130:5 (NKJV)

 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

Phil Wickham – Living Hope (2018)

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

More COVID Prayers

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

Recently I was checking My TEA CUPP Prayers listing on Goodreads.com and discovered my daughter had left a comment! She said, “There could be another line in Ecclesiastes 3, ‘a verse for every purpose under heaven.’ Many good verses for any situation and encouragement in prayer. And my mom wrote it, so… :D”

So, of course, I had to return her compliment with Proverbs 31:29, Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”  

Truly there is a Bible verse for every situation, even for COVID19!  I’m sure many of you have found such verses as you’ve endured this year and read your Bibles.  Here are just a few I found..

No hugging…

…A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing.  Ecclesiastes 3:5 (NKJV)

Those stuck in quarantine…

You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an abomination to them;
I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
My eye wastes away because of affliction…Psalm 88:8-9 (NKJV)

The reason for the plague…

Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.  Psalm 106:29 (NKJV)

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:30 (NKJV)

God promises us…

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence. Psalm 91:3 (NKJV)

No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. Psalm 91:10 (NKJV)

Let this be our petition and our story…

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.  Psalm 107:19 (NKJV)

He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!  Psalm 107:20-21 (NKJV)

Our prayer for the USA after healing…

That they may know that this is Your hand—
That You, Lord, have done it!  Psalm 109:27 (NKJV)

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What other verses can you find to help you through this COVID19 election year?  Underline them in your Bible. Share them with a friend.  Share them on Facebook. Most of all, use them as conversation starters as you share a TEA CUPP with Jesus.  

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.  Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, We ask that you shine Your light on our nation.  We’ve been in the shadow of death this year with COVID19.  We’ve been in the dark, wandering around in our sins.  Forgive us, Jesus. Wash away our sins and hurts. Heal our land.  Shine Your light into our hearts and clean out every corner. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and help us shine for You, so others will see Your light.  Please keep healing our President and his wife and every person who needs Your healing.  Today I pray especially for________________.  In Jesus’s precious Name we pray. Amen.  

Today I pray especially for Kennedy Grace, my dear granddaughter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who is battling T-cell lymphoma cancer.  Hold her close, dearest Jesus. Do Your miracles!

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 taken 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 

 

 

 

 

“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?

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

Pray Your Neighborhood

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

Dear TEA CUPP Friends, 

Today I have a new task for you!  Instead of sitting with Jesus and your morning mug, this will get you moving! 

Many of you are stuck at home right now during the COVID-19 quarantines and are eagerly awaiting normal life to return.  We were able to visit our daughter and her family before the shut-downs began, so we spent part of the quarantine in Wisconsin. 

One activity we enjoyed each day was a walk around the neighborhood.  Joel rode his bike, our granddaughter Kennedy rode the stroller, and I was the caboose. I also enjoyed an early morning walk before everyone was up.  It was during these times I felt especially called to pray over their neighborhood.

I prayed for the town, for a revival, for people to return to the Lord Jesus. I wondered if the neighbors knew there was a little girl with cancer just down the street.  I wondered what trials they were facing and prayed for Jesus to help them and keep them healthy. 

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. 

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. 

Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friends, where do you live?  Do you live near a church or school or park or courthouse or fire station or hospital or nursing home or business that needs your prayers?  Do you have a neighborhood of people who need your prayers?  Are you in the country where you can pray for people far and wide?  I exhort you today to get outside and go for a walk and pray for your neighborhood like you never have before.  Pray for healing. Pray for a revival across this land.  Pray for the children.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for God’s mercy and miracles.  

The National Day of Prayer is coming up on Thursday, May 7.  Events are planned all over the country, many virtually.  To find an event in your area check the National Day of Prayer listing. Or type in 59011 to find the event in my area.  It’s important that we pray every day. The National Day of Prayer is a day to remind everyone to pray and to shake the gates of heaven with our prayers. The theme this year is To God be the Glory.  May God be glorified in the healing and revival of our nation.

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Door of Hope and Stripes Across Our Nation and On Our Knees. God’s blessings, Jennifer Grace

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.  Colossians 2:6 (NKJV)

My Walking Buddies

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

 

 

A Robin in Spring

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

Robins are often the first sign of spring. On April. 7, 2020 at 7:37 p.m.,  Robin Hemingway came into the world, making us delighted grandparents once again.  Robin joins his big sister Kennedy who is just turning four-years-old and battling T-cell lymphoma cancer.  After two miscarriages and Kennedy’s cancer, winter is finally over, spring has arrived.  Joy has finally come in the morning to our daughter Kallie and her husband Reed.  Praise Jesus!

Many may not know how Robin got his name.  Last September when 3-year-old Kennedy found out she was going to be a big sister, she announced, “The baby’s name is Robin.”  They didn’t even know if this baby would be a boy or girl, but Kennedy insisted the name was Robin.  By Christmas, Kennedy’s parents knew they had a boy on the way, and decided his name would be Rory.  But Kennedy and her preschool friends were all still planning to call him Robin. When Kennedy was diagnosed with cancer on February 1, Kennedy’s Daddy decided she should have naming privileges for the new baby.  So Kennedy got her wish and the baby’s name became Robin!  

And Robin is the best name for this baby born in spring who is bringing joy to so many. Already his sweet cries are like a song bird, filling their home with music. And like Robin Hood of old, he has come to restore the joy that was stolen by the false king. Robin is hope and promise wrapped in a baby blanket.  Isn’t that how God sent the Savior to Bethlehem? As I hold this sweet bundle, I keep humming the words from the hymn, He Lives…

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days, because He lives (Ackley, 1933)
 
 

The line “uncertain days” is so true for our world today, as many are sick or quarantined from coronavirus, without jobs, wondering when life will return to “normal.”  But just as this baby Robin, and every baby born gives us hope for all humanity, Jesus gives us hope, because He conquered sin, death, and the devil, and rose in victory on Easter.  Jesus was born out of the the grave on Easter morning, so that we also can be born again to eternal life through Him. Because of Jesus, we can face tomorrow. 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives (Ackley, 1933)

Easter always follows Good Friday, joy follows weeping,  dawn follows the night, and spring always follows winter, so we rejoice this day! A Robin, often the first sign of spring, has come as a promise to this precious family.  Summer is on the way.

So today I give you photos and Bible verses to bless your day!  

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God. Psalm 84:3 (NKJV)

There is a son born to Naomi… Ruth 4:17 (NKJV)

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 (NJKV)

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27 (NKJV)

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. Luke 1:14 (NKJV)

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified[ you
Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NKJV)

But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God. Psalm 22:9-10 (NKJV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease. Genesis 8:22 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Every time you see a robin this spring, remember this special baby and the gift of eternal life God has given you. Rejoice, oh friends, the long night is over!  Jesus has won the victory!

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!  I pray you are blessed by these devotions.  Thank you also for praying for our granddaughter Kennedy. She still has two years of chemo before her and needs prayers for eating more and walking again.  God’s blessings, Jennifer Grace

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

The Door of Hope

…O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles…  Judges 6:13 (NKJV)

Do you feel like you’ve been walking through the Valley of Achor, the Valley of Trouble?  With coronavirus all over the world, cancer in young children, including my granddaughter, and so many uncertainties (like can a person buy toilet paper and will there be a job tomorrow?), people everywhere have been walking through a dark valley.

Did you know there is really such a valley in our Bibles?  We read in Joshua 7 how the children of Israel were defeated in one of their early battles as they tried to claim the Promised Land.  What happened? Why wasn’t God helping them?  Well, it turned out one of the Israelites had taken some of the accursed treasures at the first battle and hidden them in his tent.  Because of his sin, God was withholding His blessings.  Joshua found out and the Israelites stoned the man.  That place was given the name, the Valley of Achor (Trouble).  

What sins are we hiding in our tents today? We need to look at our own hearts and the heart of our country and confess these sins to the Lord.  We need to run through our towns with our prayers as incense to stop the plague (Num. 17:46-50, Psalm 141:2, Rev. 5:8).  We need to turn to God in prayer, every one of us, seeking His forgiveness and blessings, and He will see us safely through even this storm and restore our nation.

My friends, we have a great hope. With every punishment, God gives us a promise.  When God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, even then He gave a promise that someday His Seed would bruise the head of Satan, a Savior would be coming. And today, even now, God promises the Valley of Achor will become a door of hope.

I will give her …the Valley of Achor as a door of hope… Hosea 2:15 (NKJV)

He will not leave us in this valley.  Even those who are on their deathbeds can receive God’s promise as did the thief on the cross…

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)

What is this Door of Hope?  Who can save us from this valley?  Where can we find these promises? It is Jesus, the Son of God who died for the sins of all the world, tearing the veil in the temple, over 2000 years ago. But He didn’t stay dead, on the third day He rose again opening for all who believe the door of heaven.  And there we find eternal forgiveness, peace and joy.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try 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 (NKJV)

God is still on the throne.  Jesus is still risen from the tomb. The Holy Spirit is still here to help and encourage us.  And, we have our Bibles – God’s Word, God’s great love story.  Open your Bible and open the Door of Hope.  

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What hope have you seen in your valley of trouble? A kindness from a friend or stranger?  Good Samaritans helping neighbors?  I pray that most of all you see Jesus! Who can you be a door of hope to today?

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9 (NKJV)

 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our granddaughter Kennedy.  She’s turns 4 next week.  We are so thankful for a long visit with her.  Look how much better she is!  We are praying she can walk again soon.  Jesus made the lame to walk and He is our great Hope!  

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

Anointing with Oil

…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:18 (NKJV)

When our granddaughter Kennedy Grace was suddenly diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma cancer, all my heart longed to do was to get to her and her family as quickly as I could.  I had just been reading in the Old Testament about Moses anointing his brother Aaron as a priest (Ex. 29:21) and knew I needed to anoint our granddaughter with oil, too.

My friend Anna told us once how she anoints her kids with oil whenever they get sick.  A sore throat – oil. A cold – oil. A tummy ache – oil.  Though I pray over my children when they are ill, I hadn’t tried anointing them with oil.  Yet God calls us in James 5:14 to be anointed with oil if we are sick.  

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:14

Having never done this before, I asked another great praying friend, Shannon, what kind of oil she uses.  Shannon said she uses olive oil with a little essential oil in it.  The only essential oil I had in my house was frankincense.  I mentioned this to Shannon and she said that was just the one she had in mind for our granddaughter.  

So, off I went to Wisconsin, armed with my little Rubbermaid container of olive oil and my bottle of frankincense.  When I got to Kennedy’s hospital room, it was full of people and Kennedy wanted nothing to do with my oil since she had been poked and prodded by so many doctors.  Yet one time when she was distracted, I dipped my finger in the oil and put it on her forehead in the sign of the cross.  I also anointed the doorposts and lintel of her hospital room.  At the end of our visit, I brought the oil to Kennedy’s house and anointed the doorposts and lintels of her house and Kennedy’s forehead once again, as I prayed for her complete healing in Jesus’ Name.

…And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV)

We are still awaiting that complete healing.  Though Kennedy has been given the great news of No Evidence of Disease (NED) after her first month, she still has to continue treatment for two years so it doesn’t return, and she is still unable to walk from the medicine. Each day is a victory as we are given another day of life, another day to praise Jesus, another day of chemo, another day closer to full remission, another day nearer to running and playing like other little girls again.

“Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”  Isaiah 57:19 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Are you sick? Is someone you know sick?  Call the elders of your church or go yourself and anoint your dear one with oil in Jesus’ Name.  It could be just the healing touch that is needed.  

…and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. Luke 4:40 (NKJV)

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses… Exodus 12:7 (NKJV)

Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you… Exodus 12:13 (NKJV)

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

 

Let the Children Come to Me

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

I’ve been wrestling with this verse lately. For so long it has been one of my favorite verses, part of my calling to homeschool our children and to teach preschool Sunday school, sharing Jesus with God’s littlest ones.  Yet lately I’ve come to understand it could have other interpretations.

Two days before my granddaughter was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with cancer, we had an earnest discussion at my Bible study. Our study book shared the testimony of a mom who had lost her three-year-old daughter to a sudden illness.  One of our ladies asked if that little girl was in heaven.  Our leader replied, “Most certainly.”  

Just that morning I had been reading my daily Bible reading which included the verse above from Matthew 19:14.  I had studied the notes in my John MacArthur study Bible and felt God urging me to share them.  MacArthur explained how God’s mercy is graciously extended to the “infants” who are not yet capable of belief.  In His great mercy, He grants them entrance into heaven.  We see this example when King David’s first son with Bathsheba died.  In 2 Samuel 12:23, King David proclaimed:

…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

King David knew the hope and promise of seeing his baby again in heaven.  It reminded me of the book called Heaven is for Real, where a little boy was so sick he went to heaven and saw Jesus with many children, including his own sister! I also rejoice in knowing that the babies we lost are waiting for us in heaven, and I shared this joy with the other ladies. 

But then came the news about our granddaughter, so soon after this discussion, and I said, “NO!!!!!!!”  You can not have this little one yet!  Maybe in 80 years, but not now!”  Though I know she could be happy and dancing with Jesus and her younger siblings and aunts, and not have to endure more cancer treatments or the rough teen years or any heartache, I don’t want that for her parents.  I want them to have the joy of raising their daughter and I want to share in that joy.  

And so, as Kennedy continues to endure chemo treatments and pains, I cry out like the father in Heaven is for Real, “No!!! Is this how you treat your prayer warriors?! Please heal her, O God, I pray! (Num. 12:13) Hear my cry, O God, attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:1-2). Heal our Kennedy Grace. Amen.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read how Jesus welcomed the children in Matthew 19:13-15.  What are these verses telling you? What young children in your life can you welcome in Jesus’ Name?  

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (NKJV)

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

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