Jesus, Our Greatest Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

4:7 Victory

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

O Father, O Jesus, here we have the story of when Satan tried to tempt You in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting (no food, no water). You must have been so hungry and thirsty, even though You are the Living Bread and Living Water.

First, the devil tried to tempt you to turn stones to bread, but You fought back with the Word of God, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Your Word is all we need for it is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

Well, the devil was crafty in his second temptation, using Your Word himself, telling You to throw Yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple so the Father’s angel would guard over You. This verse is one of my favorites to pray for my family, the 911 verse, Psalm 91:11 “He shall give His angels charge over you.” Shame on the devil for mis-using this precious Word of God! And all praise to Jesus for fighting back victoriously with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, saying, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

O Father God, forgive us for ever trying to tempt You, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive our nation for tempting You to wrath with all its evil. Save us, O Lord our God. Turn hearts to You before the great and awesome day when You return. Pour out your Holy Spirit on this land. Do not let us tempt you any longer. We say as Jesus did on the last temptation, “Away with you, Satan!”

“Away with you, Satan!” Away with you from our lives. Away with you from our health. Away with you from our families. Away with you from our schools. Away with you from our courthouses. Away with you from our government. Away with you from our churches. Away with you from our media. Away with you from our nation! Away with you, Satan, in the Name of Jesus and the blood He shed on the cross! We will not bow down to you!

We will only bow to the King of kings, the Lord of lords, our God and Father, Christ Jesus His Son, who showed us how to resist you with His Word, how to cut your temptations to pieces with His Sword of the Spirit, and how to live victoriously by following His steps. You are finished, Satan! Go to the deep pit where you belong! You are not welcome here. Away with you!

Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of the United States of America. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, is Lord of me and my family wherever we go. HalleluYAH! Amen!

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

4:7 Aftermath

A prayer for America on the Aftermath of Election Day 2022 with verses from 2 Kings 22, Psalm 142, Joel 1-2 and Hebrews 5 from the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan for November 10.

Hebrews 4:7 Again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

O Father, O Jesus, forgive us for our hard hearts. Soften us to hear and obey Your Holy Spirit, O Lord, TODAY! Forgive me, forgive my family, forgive our nation, forgive Your church. Soften me, soften my family, soften our nation, soften Your Church. For today I am sad that our nation is still lost, still having broken elections, though there were glimmers of hope. I cry out to You with the cries of the Psalmist and claim the promises of Joel.

Today we offer up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who is able to save us. I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord, I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. Our spirits are overwhelmed, Lord Jesus. The locusts have even eaten our elections and votes. We prayed and voted for God-fearing leaders across this nation, and we received a few, but not enough!

O Jesus, we thank You for the victories, and yet we rend our hearts and return to You again in prayer to ask, “”How long?” and “Where did we go wrong?” and “What more can we do?” Forgive us for becoming dull of hearing. May we learn obedience through all our suffering. Help us discern good and evil. Spare Your people, O Lord. Do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations, “Where is their God?”

O Father in heaven, give us leaders like Josiah whose heart was tender and he humbled himself before the Lord, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the Law of Moses. We cry out to You, O Lord, You are our refuge, a very present help in trouble. You are gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and You relent from doing harm. Turn to us, Lord Jesus. Hear our cries. Leave us a blessing! Spare Your people, O Lord. Do not give Your heritage to reproach.

We decree the Lord will be zealous for His land and pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things! Do not be afraid! I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten! You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God. I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” America shall be saved! HalleluYAh! Amen!

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


America Shall be Saved

A prayer for America on this Election Day 2022 with verses from 2 Kings 19-20, Psalm 139, Hosea 14 and Hebrews 3 from the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan for November 8.

O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord and see and hear the words of our leaders which reproach You, the Living God. We spread all the news before You… the fake news and the truth, for You know the truth.

O Lord, You have searched the USA and know every heart. You know when we sit and do nothing, and when we sit and pray. You know when we rise up against our neighbors, and when we rise up to help them. You know the path this nation has taken, a path of rebellion since its birth. And You know when we lie down and fail to take a stand for what is right. You know every word that has been spoken in truth and in lies, in anger and in love, with our mouths, texts, emails, tweets, posts, grams and all… You know every detail.

You have hedged this great nation from its conception with peaceful neighbors of Canada and Mexico (Lord, save them, too!), yet also with Your mighty angels poised over every state. Your hand is heavy upon us now to do what is right. We cannot flee from You any longer. O Lord, lead this great nation back to YOU! Remember how You formed this “One Nation Under God.” We praise You for we are fearfully and wonderfully made and in Your book all the days of the USA were written, and we are not finished yet!

O Jesus, forgive our sins, we repent, we return, we come back to YOU! Search us, O God, and know our hearts; try us and know our anxieties, see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in Your way everlasting! We declare this day that You will wipe our government as one wipes a dish, turning it upside down. You will purge us with hyssop and make us white as snow. The people of the land will “execute” the evil leaders this day by casting them out with votes for good! Oh, that YOU would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from us, you blood thirsty men.

O USA, return to the Lord your God! For You have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord! Say to Him, “Take away all our iniquity, receive us graciously.” O Father, we claim Your promise to heal our backsliding, You will love the USA freely, You will turn Your anger away from us. All those who dwell under Your shadow shall return to You. They shall be revived like grain and grow like a vine. We declare that the USA shall once again be partakers of the heavenly calling, with hearts turned to the High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. Just as every house is built by someone, our Heavenly Father will rebuild this nation with His Son over us.

Today, we will hear His voice, we will not harden our hearts as we did in rebellion for the past 246 years! Forgive us for testing and trying You, O Lord, teach us Your ways. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon America!!! Now therefore, O Lord our God, we pray, save us that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone. May we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope to the end! In the precious name of Jesus, Yeshua Messiah and the blood He shed on the cross, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that raised Him from the grave we pray, America Shall be Saved! HalleluYAH! HalleluYAH! HalleluYAH! Amen!

Many thanks of Dutch Sheets and Give Him 15 for the encouragement to pray for the USA so boldly. America Shall be Saved!

4:7 America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without inhabitant.

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

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

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

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

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

4:7 Princess Proclamations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations

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

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

The numbers 4:7 keep returning to me. Last summer I was reading the Psalms and 4:7 jumped out at me as a beautiful verse describing my life with Jesus, You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I recalled how the Lord helped me run a marathon a few years ago in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes (4:7). 2 Timothy 4:7 talks about finishing the race. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. The following spring, our long-awaited grandson was finally born on April 7 (4-7). We used to have an address with the number 47, and so I heard the Lord saying, “Pay attention to 4:7!” I started reading every 4:7 verse in the Bible. When there wasn’t a 4:7, I read the closest verse. I used these verses as Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations to the throne room of Christ our Savior.

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

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

4:7 Prayers, Petitions, and Proclamations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She Did What She Could

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marking His Word

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

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

Red: T for Thanksgiving

Orange: E for Exalting the Lord

Yellow: A for Admitting my sins

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

Blue:  U for Understanding my story

Purple: P for Promises (claiming God’s)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Still Aiming High

Recently, I was saddened to receive from my mom an obituary for a high school classmate who was one year ahead of me. We shared the same first name, ran on the same track and cross country team, and both lived in the north part of town. She had the sweetest smile and was so kind to me, the slower underclassman. Her obituary told of running for a small college in Iowa after high school and setting many records there. Then she went on to serve in the political arena. I wept because there was no mention of church or faith in Jesus Christ. That could have been my story (except for the running records).

We attended high school in a budding midwestern college town called Ames, Iowa. Long run days led us into the countryside where we were surrounded by cornstalks, while easy workout days took us by the local ice cream shop.  At every every pep rally and home game, we proudly sang the school fight song, “Students of Ames Senior High, proud of our school are we, cheering the orange and the black, on to a victory (go-fight-win!), comrades in work and in play, loyal and true are we, doing our best for our high school, Ames High aims high! Ames High aims high! Ames High aims high!

After high school, I walked-on as a cross country runner at Iowa State University where I was the slowest one on the team. Often, as I cried at the end of the line as we ran our 1000 meter repeats, I wished I had gone to a small college where I might have been on the varsity squad. But if I had not been at Iowa State University in 1985, when I lost my beloved cross country team and coaches in a plane crash as they flew home from a second place finish at nationals, I may never have come to a saving faith in Jesus. It was that ISU tragedy that made me run away from God for two years, before the prayers of dear friends brought me back to the feet of my Savior (who washed away all my sins and messes).

It hasn’t been an easy road since the day I gave my life to Jesus, but it is a blessed path and the only highway I want to follow. His straight path leads me to the narrow gate at heaven’s door. He has been beside me each day to encourage me, above me to watch over me, and within me to give me His peace. As I wept for my dear old running friend, I thought of my other classmates who might not have found Jesus after high school, and I long to tell them, there is still time to turn to Him. He is patiently waiting for all His children to come to Him before He returns to this earth. And the signs of the times are pointing to His imminent arrival, with wars and rumors of wars, good being called evil and evil being called good, and a lawlessness the likes of which America has never seen. Jesus is coming soon and I want you to be ready.

Dear one, I invite you TODAY to be one of Jesus’ comrades in work and in play, in service and in prayer. I invite you to live up to our fight song motto of loyalty and truth, for Jesus is our greatest example of this, loyal in giving His life for us on the cross to pay for our sins, loyal in rising again as the first-fruit from the grave, claiming victory over death so that all who believe in His name will have eternal life with Him. And He promises that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Dear classmates, keep aiming high. God tells us in His Word,  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:2-4). And so I follow His path, and I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Please, aim high with me!

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved… 
Joel 2:32 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I implore you to keep aiming high by putting your faith in Jesus Christ, He is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Jesus came for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles (everyone else!). If you’ve been putting it off, please don’t delay any longer, for none of us knows when we will have our last day on earth. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15 (NKJV)

If you haven’t prayed the sinner’s 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_______ 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 child 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.

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)

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. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading my devotion. If you liked today’s message, you may enjoy reading what I’ve been doing since high school, and my Dear Loved One and Get on the Ark posts. I also encourage you to explore my blog, My TEA CUPP Prayers. My mission is to invite ladies everywhere to TEA with the King of kings, bringing them and all their families into the kingdom of God. I’m still aiming high!

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