My Tea Time Tutor

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 (NKJV)

It’s back to school time for many youth across our country. As they bring lessons home, some students may find they are struggling in one subject area and need a tutor. I was a tutor for a few years, welcoming students into my home after school to help with math and reading homework. Much like a piano teacher who gives lessons, I only saw my pupils for 30-45 minutes each week. We got through a good chunk of homework that was due the next day, but I never felt we were making big progress in our brief time together. I pray my students saw Jesus in me and my family, and that is the lesson they remember the most!

These pupils needed the daily care of a tutor or parent to help them press on in their studies, much like we need Jesus daily to guide us. Just as 45 minutes of tutoring a week might not make a difference to a math student, an hour in church each week may not grow a believer. We need to be in God’s Word and praying EVERY DAY, listening to His Voice through the Holy Spirit, submitting to His will, fighting the good fight of faith.

Paul shows us in Galatians how that’s what God was doing through the Law — constantly tutoring us, showing us the right way, guiding us forward. And since none of us can follow the Law perfectly (For all have sinned, Romans 3:23), God sent His Only Son Jesus to save us and fulfill the Law. Now we live not under Law but under His grace!

…for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (NKJV)

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 (NKJV)

What is this Law? It is the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses after he led God’s people out of Egypt, 430 years after God rewarded Abraham with a promise because of his faith. Abraham’s faith led to the Law, which led to the Law showing us our sin, which led to our need for a Savior, which led to Jesus coming, which leads to our faith in Him!

We need the Law to show us our sins and to lead us to Jesus. John MacArthur, in his study Bible, provides additional insight into the Law as our tutor. In MacArthur’s notes for Romans 3:31, he explains how our salvation through faith does not nullify the Law, but rather shows its true importance. Our faith in Christ provides the payment for the penalty of death required by the Law. And our faith in Christ fulfills the original purpose of the Law, to serve as a tutor. In his notes for Galatians 3:24, MacArthur tells how the Greek word for tutor denotes a slave whose duty it was to take care of a child until adulthood. They took children to school and watched over their behavior constantly, making children long for the day they would no longer have a tutor. I love John MacArthur’s quote, “The Law was our tutor which by showing us our sins, was escorting us to Christ.”

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught His disciples so many truths, but the one thing they specifically asked Him was, “teach us to pray.” Perhaps prayer, most of all, is where Jesus tutors us the most.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: A new school year is upon us. Read Romans 3 with a heart open to tutoring. Let us commit to pray daily for children, grandchildren, neighbor children, and teachers in our towns. May they all be guided and tutored by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit. And may Jesus return to schools in the USA! May God also bless the homeschool families. And may we all continue to be tutored by Jesus until He returns!

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Psalm 119:33 (NKJV)

Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.
Psalm 119:66 (NKJV)

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)

Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
Job 22:22 (NKJV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)

P.S. We have a new kindergartener! I want to thank so many of you who have prayed for my granddaughter Kennedy for over a year. Kennedy was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma cancer at the age of 3 1/2. She is now five years old and starting kindergarten this week! She spent the summer doing gymnastics and swim lessons. God has brought her so far from the time she sat on the sofa and I prayed, “Talitha, Cumi, Little one, arise!” Praise Jesus for His healing! Kennedy still has another year of chemo, but only once a month now. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Thank you to David Kim  and Carrie from Discovery Church for this beautiful song!

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

The Only Anecdote

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:14-15 (NKJV)

Dear Ones, Today I share a heart-felt, timely message which I pray you will share with others. As I write this, the last week of July 2021, over 336 million people have received the experimental covid “vaccine” in the USA. Over 11,000 to 45,000 have died, depending on which article you read, with some estimating several 100,000 unreported or dying from “other causes.” But there is hope.

Many were coerced into receiving the poisonous poke by the media, their employers, family members, or peer pressure, not knowing the deadly side effects. In my small town alone, the obituary section of our paper has increased compared to other summers. One young friend died from a heart attack four days after her shot, and another young person had an emergency appendicitis the evening of his shot. These scenarios are repeated across the country and more are coming. But there is an Anecdote.

For death has come through our windows,
Has entered our palaces,
To kill off the children—no longer to be outside!
And the young men—no longer on the streets!
Jeremiah 9:21 (NKJV)

I point no fingers, because I could have been swept up in the vax craze, too. I cook new recipes, trying to improve my heath. I order new vitamins, hoping I will feel better. Last winter I had two rounds of steroid shots in my back to reduce pain, which did absolutely nothing for me, but they were highly recommended by friends and doctors. Such is the case with the new covid “vaccines.”

Only because I heard there was a connection between these shots and aborted babies (and I had gotten very sick the one winter I had a flu shot), God led me to do more research, pointing me to the truth about the covid “vaccines.” I was so saddened by what I learned that I shared the facts on my blog earlier this year in Esther’s Great Calling and Taking Care of the Temple and Sheep to the Slaughter. I even sent Sheep to the Slaughter to my local newspaper, but they didn’t print it.

I was so disappointed that the Church, my church, and so many pro-family, pro-life organizations were not speaking out because of fear or misinformation (though a few did, God bless Father Altman from Wisconsin!). One popular family radio program went so far as to say in a December 2020 broadcast that taking the vaccine is what Jesus meant when He said, “Love thy neighbor.” Now, one of our country’s leaders, who isn’t a follower of Jesus, is repeating that phrase. But the vaccine does not help our neighbors! It does not prevent the spread of disease! It actually weakens your body, resulting in many more covid cases among the vaccinated. No one needs a shot for a disease that has a 99% survival rate, and there are other known cures such a Ivermectin, medicine you can buy at your local feed store for horses. For the unvaccinated, once you catch covid and recover (which there is an almost 100% chance you will!), your natural immunity is the best defense against ever catching it again.

Back to “Love thy neighbor,” I consider babies my neighbors and show my love to them by NOT getting the abortion-tainted vaccine (Romans 12:9, 2 John 6). Jesus said that whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone was hung around his neck and he were throne into the sea (Mark 9:42). And Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, right after saying “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…”, “Do not be conformed to this world…” Would you consider that perhaps God had Paul pen those words for such a time as this?!

What else can you take to keep you healthy? The true health experts recommend Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Quercetin. If you do need to visit the doctor, be sure to ask for Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine. Don’t let loved ones be put on a ventilator, instead try a nebulizer with hydrogen peroxide added to the water. But most importantly, we need to PRAY!

Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17). Dear One, if you already got the vaccine, turn to Jesus. Ask His forgiveness for not knowing its origins or its consequences. Rest in His promises: Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13). Paul says, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). If you live, use your life to tell people about Jesus. If you die, you will live forever in His presence in heaven.

Dear One, if you have not gotten the “vaccine,” don’t get it! Remain steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). We should have no pride that we did not get if, just thank Jesus for opening our eyes to the truth soon enough to spare us. We must use our lives for His glory, pointing all to the saving love of Jesus Christ. He is the Only Anecdote, the One and Only Savior for all the world. Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, Jesus is the answer!

Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22 (NKJV)

You know, a long time ago the Israelites had the same problem. They had turned away from God, just like the USA is doing today. So God allowed a plague of snakes to come through their camp and bite them. The people cried out to the Lord for help. So God told Moses to make a bronze image of the snake and put it on a pole. Whenever anyone was bitten by a snake, they could look to the bronze image and be saved.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” Numbers 21:8 (NKJV)

Today we don’t have the bronze snake, but we have Jesus, who was also lifted up on a pole, the wooden cross upon which He died for our sins. And now when we find ourselves in a plague, we also can look to Him and be saved.

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

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear One, we all need Jesus! He is the Only Anecdote for the vaccine and for all our sins. Read Numbers 21 and John 3 and 1 Corinthians 3:16-19 for further study. Please turn to Jesus today, tell your friends, too, and pray without ceasing for our country…

Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand…
Isaiah 28:18 (NKJV)

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, I claim this promise against the evil politicians and corrupt vaccine makers. Annul their covenant with death! Save all those who got the vaccine. Turn hearts to You. Make us new bodies in heaven and even here on earth. Be our Anecdote, Jesus! Like looking at the snake on the pole, we look to You, Jesus!…Amen

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.  Jeremiah 18:7-8 (NKJV)

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 (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)

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)

Resources for Further Research:  Lifesitenews.com, Naturalnews.com, AboveRubies.org, OliveTreeViews.org.

A friend just shared this prayer with me for people who got the vaccine, you can pray it for them and with them… https://www.freedomencounters.com/wp-content/uploads/PRAYER-and-Letter_Remove-Harmful-Vaccination-Elements.pdf.  It comes from the website: https://www.freedomencounters.com/
 

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

USA, Arise! Come Forth!

For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us. Isaiah 33:22 (NKJV)

Calling all prayer warriors to pray John 11 over the USA today!  In John 11 we read the amazing account of Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the grave.  As you read this passage today, replace Lazarus’ name with the USA.  We can say to the Lord with John 11:3, “Lord, behold, the USA who You love is sick.” 

We have been very sick this year, haven’t we?  First there were impeachment trials, then COVID19 and shut-downs hit our land, followed by rioting, wildfires, and each month brought some new shame.  The truth is we are sick like Lazarus and dead in our sins.  We are lost in a dark cave with only Jesus to save us.  But God shines His light in the dark places of our hearts (Prov. 20:27) and nation, showing us our sins and providing a way out (Isaiah 35:8, John 14:6). 

Jesus reassures us with John 11:4 that the USA’s sickness is not unto death, “but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  And we can claim Jesus’ promise in John 11:23, the USA “will rise again.”

When Jesus speaks to Martha in John 11:25-26, “…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” we can answer with a resounding, “YES, JESUS! WE BELIEVE IN YOU!”

Those of us who have been praying all year for our nation, probably feel like Martha and Mary do in John 11:21 & 32, “Lord, if you had been here, the USA would not have died.”

As Jesus weeps with us over the USA in John 11:35, we weep, too.  

We stand amazed as Jesus tells us in John 11:40, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” and we await the miracles He will do for our country.

Let us give thanks even before the miracles, following Jesus’ example in John 11:41, Father, we thank You that You have heard us.”

Then, with a commanding cry, and loud voice, we proclaim along with Jesus in John 11:43, “USA, Come forth!” And the USA will come out of it’s grave to new life in Jesus!  Halleluja!

Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.  Isaiah 32:15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oh Jesus, You did this! You sent Your Holy Spirit at Pentecost. You turned the wilderness of the USA into a fruitful field, “the bread basket of the world.”  Oh Jesus, the true Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Savior of humankind, I claim Your promise to do it again.  Call us out of that grave! Pour out Your Holy Spirit on the USA! Send a revival!  Turn every heart to You! USA, arise! Come forth! Come, Holy Spirit, flood this land with Your presence.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. In Your Holy and Mighty Name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily.  Psalm 74:22 (NKJV)

You called my name
And I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness
Into Your glorious day. (Glorious Day by Passion)

 

Songwriters: Jonathan Smith / Jason Ingram / Kristian Stanfill / Sean Curran
Glorious Day lyrics © Worshiptogether.com Songs, Sixsteps Music, Worship Together Music, Sixsteps Songs, Sounds Of Jericho
 

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 your prayers!

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Battling the enemy with the Word of God,  and Of Course, There’s a Plague, and My Lazarus TEA.

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

 

 

Return To Gather

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a health issue or have been quarantined (as recently happened to me), we understand why you can’t come in person and are thankful you can join a gathering of believers online.  But if you are healthy, come back together for fellowship with others. Do not let fear stop you from coming.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). For if you don’t return, God will use the seed and the stump who remain and grow another Church, His Bride who eagerly awaits His coming!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up. Hosea 6:1 (NKJV)

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

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

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

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.  

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

Of Course, There’s a Plague!

We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly. Psalm 106:6 (NKJV)

Oh, what a year!  People will always remember 2020 as the year of COVID19, the coronavirus, quarantines, masks, closures… although we won’t want to remember it because of all the deaths, fear, loneliness, rules, and missed events.  We all wonder why this had to happen.  Yet, when we search God’s Word we find so many relevant verses. 

Psalm 106 is one that speaks to our current situation, summing up our nation and world’s troubles, “We have sinned…we have committed iniquity…” (Ps. 106:6). Psalm 106 goes on to list all those sins from so long ago.  Can we see all these in our country today?…

  • We did not understand God’s wonders (Ps. 106:7)
  • We did not remember the multitude of God’s mercies (Ps. 106:7)
  • We rebelled (Ps. 106:7)
  • We forgot His works (Ps. 106:13)
  • We did not wait for His counsel (Ps. 106:13)
  • We lusted (Ps. 106:14)
  • We tested God (Ps. 106:14)
  • We envied our leaders (Ps. 106:16)
  • We made idols and worshiped them (Ps. 106:19)
  • We forgot God our Savior (Ps. 106:21)
  • We despised the pleasant land (Ps. 106:24)
  • We did not believe God’s Word (Ps. 106:24)
  • We joined ourselves to the devil (Ps. 106:28)
  • We rebelled against His Spirit (Ps. 106:33)
  • We did not destroy God’s enemies (Ps. 106:34)
  • We followed the way of unbelievers (Ps. 106:35)
  • We served our idols (Ps. 106:36)
  • We sacrificed our children (Ps. 106:37)
  • We shed innocent blood (Ps. 106:38)
  • We defiled ourselves and played the harlot (Ps. 106:39)

Is it no wonder the plague broke out among us?  (Ps. 106:29). What can we do?  We can intervene like Phinehas (Ps. 106:30) and stand in the breach like Moses (Ps. 106:23) so God’s wrath is turned away.  We must pray for our country, for our neighbors, for our families. Pray for God to send a revival across this land.  

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

There is HOPE, my dear friends.  We have the HOPE found in Jesus Christ.  Because of His saving work on the cross, all who believe in Him are rescued from this crazy world (John 3:16).  Jesus died for every sin listed above and for all the others, too.  Let’s pray for our nation to turn to Jesus! And God will hear our cries (Ps. 106:44)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read and pray Psalm 106. Repent, turn to God. Ask His forgiveness through Jesus Christ for yourself and for our country. Turn over a new leaf this fall. Let’s give everyone something NEW to remember about 2020…the year of REVIVAL! Pray for our nation daily. Forgive us, O Lord.  

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

May this be 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 for the next 7 Tuesdays, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever.  Check out this event happening in the coming days… https://thereturn.org/

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Psalm 106:47-48 (NKJV)

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

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

Walking Through the Valley

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

Our pastor gave a great sermon the other Sunday.  He explained how we have to go through the valley of the shadow of death to reach pure obedience.  We have to die to disobedience, die to corrupt hearts, die to sin, die to self, die to the flesh…give it all to Jesus and be raised to new life with Him. 

What doctors are doing to our granddaughter to take away her cancer is much like this sermon. They are hitting her hard with chemo and steroids, making her weak and weary. The drugs knock her out, tearfully bringing her again through the valley of the shadow of death.  But when the treatments end and Jesus has healed her, she will be raised to new life, running and playing like other little girls again. 

 

And then there is our country, trying to get well from the COVID19 of 2020.  We can’t do this on our own. We need God’s help and healing and intervention.  But in order to raise our country to new life, He must first take us through the valley of the shadow of death…death of loved ones, death of our sins, death of riots, death of killing babies, death of corrupt politics, death of selfishness and every other sin that surrounds us.  

I feared that the coronavirus would disappear before there was a revival. But now it looks like it is spiking again. Friends, God is giving us another chance.  He is calling to us: Repent! Turn to Jesus! Follow the Lord!   

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

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Let’s all humbly examine our own hearts today.  Read God’s Word and seek His face.  Turn from every sin He shows us and pray to Jesus who gave His life for us on the cross.  Then He will hear, forgive and heal us.  Pray everyday for a revival across this land!

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)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations. Psalm 82:8 (NKJV)

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.  Jeremiah 18:7-10 (NKJV)

P.S. If you are inspired by today’s devotion, you might also enjoy reading Stripes Across our Nation.

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

The Elusive Organ

hospital11Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.  Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

I was lying on the narrow table in the Nuclear Science department at the Bozeman Hospital.  Of all the tests I’d had in the past half year, this one took the longest.  The kind technician explained it was a little boring, waiting for my gallbladder to appear on the screen and I could take a nap if I wanted.  Whatever chemical he had injected was slowly making its way to my gallbladder so it would become visible.  I wasn’t surprised when after 90 minutes it still hadn’t appeared.  This organ had been eluding doctors for months, why would it come forward now?  Perhaps I didn’t even have one!  But finally, after sending me for two walks and letting me chew sugar-free gum, my shy gallbladder showed up enough to allow him to complete the test.

While lying there, I prayed my favorite verse from this ordeal, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14) And I contemplated all that had brought me to this point.  It began over a year before with daily nausea.  When I had a root canal in January 2016, I thought the nausea would quit, but it continued.  Then in March when I was running, I had a mysterious pain below my right rib cage. I kept running and doing all my usual mom activities.  I even became a grandma in April and had a wonderful visit with my new granddaughter in May.  For almost a week, I was “super-grandma,” running, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and holding our sweet baby so her mommy could take a shower. Then I came home.

Reality hit when I walked in the door in early June and promptly threw up.  A week later I was having tea with friends and had to rush to the restroom where I was sick again.  Soon I found that if I had food in my stomach, I could keep the nausea at bay.  A handful of nuts every hour or two seemed to do the trick.

My first thought was I must be pregnant, which seemed like a jolly blessing for a new grandma turning 50.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  The doctors did an ultrasound of all my organs and said they were fine.  My daughter was having emergency gallbladder surgery, so they looked closely at my gallbladder. The technician pressed the wand into my right side so hard I cried out in pain.  She asked surprised, “Does this hurt?”

I replied, “Yes, doesn’t that hurt for everyone?”  Then she continued pressing for another 15 minutes, only to have the tests come back normal. But the pain in my right side persisted.  For those who have experienced pregnancy, it felt like a little foot pushing on my rib cage. Sometimes if felt like I’d pulled a muscle in my side from mopping. Always, it hurt.

Over the next several months, I had blood tests, ultrasounds, GI exams, CT scan, X-rays, and a bone scan. Every test came back negative.  With each doctor appointment, I prayed, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed.”  I dutifully went for the next test they recommended.  Each time it came back negative.  The doctors began to get tired of me.  I began to wonder if I was crazy.  But at night when I was lying in my bed, with a great pain in my right side, I knew I wasn’t crazy.

My symptoms continued. Besides the nausea and pain in my right side, I had a tight chest and shortness of  breath.  I could run four miles, but lifting my arms to brush my hair or walking from the kitchen to the laundry room would leave me breathless.  In July, I quit running as I didn’t have much energy for it anymore.  In September, I quit most of my work.

The foods I could eat were also diminishing.  Way back in 2010 I had started eating gluten-free and felt better for awhile. In 2013 I went dairy-free and again felt better for awhile.  But this year I couldn’t digest other foods.  A slice of gluten-free bread or a bowl of gluten-free oats would hurt for a day.  But the GI tests showed everything was normal.  By the end of my illness, I was eating banana/kale smoothies for breakfast, jello salad and celery, and highly refined gluten-free foods, such as pretzels.  My beverages consisted of ginger tea and coke, both helped with the nausea and the caffeine eased the pain. I still had my handfuls of nuts to avoid nausea and give me energy, but had to give those up due to pain, too.

In October, doctors finally decided my chest and rib pains were from costochondritis, an inflammation under the rib cage.  I started taking large doses of ibuprofen to reduce swelling.  Four days later I was in the emergency room with a terrible pain that started above my left shoulder blade, extended down the top of my left arm and around to my chest.  They did all the usual heart tests which were negative, gave me a toradol shot which did nothing and sent me home.  The next day they put my on prednisone, thinking it might be polymyalgia and referred me to a rheumatologist.

It’s interesting how the various doctors each picked their favorite symptom and went with that in my diagnosis and care.  The general practitioner was interested in my heart.  The OB-Gyn doctor thought it was changing hormones. The GI doctor felt my pain was from irritable bowel syndrome after a round of Prilosec didn’t help.  The rheumatologist first suspected bone disease.  Even though they all knew my pain was located right at the gallbladder.  If only one of them had said, “Even though your ultrasound didn’t show anything, let’s explore this area more…”

Of all the health care professionals I had, the wisest were the non-standard ones.  One day in October I went with my husband to his chiropractor to ask if it was possible I’d had a rib out all this time.  He checked me over and said no, I did not.  He was very concerned about the pain under might right rib and encouraged me to keep my appointment with a rheumatologist. He said since I was taking prednisone, I shouldn’t have any pain if it was from inflammation.  He didn’t do any adjusting and didn’t even charge me for his consultation.

The rheumatologist referred me to a physical therapist when the bone scan came back negative.  He thought some core strengthening would help me.  The physical therapist did an excellent job of checking me and pinpointing where my pain was coming from in the center of my back. Then he pulled out a text book to show me a diagram of referred pain from organs. The gallbladder defers pain right to the center of the back!

One day our neighbors stopped by to check on me and suggested I get a HIDA scan for my gallbladder.  Right away I emailed my GI doctor and requested the scan.  I remembered the rheumatologist had mentioned that as a possibility, too.  So, here I was finally having the HIDA scan, 5 months after my first doctor visit.  That very night I heard from the GI doctor.  It was my gallbladder!  It was only functioning at 8%.  A surgeon would be contacting me.

The day I found out I needed my gallbladder out I was so happy. After months of no answers, I finally had the correct diagnosis!  I went to bed so thankful, only to wake up a few hours later in dire pain, realizing my gallbladder wasn’t out yet!

The surgeon was all booked up until mid-December 2016, but there was a cancellation, so I got in earlier.  He was sure that I would feel better after surgery, but he wouldn’t be able to do it until December 12.  With almost three weeks to wait, I didn’t know if I’d make it.  Friends must have been praying, because I didn’t feel too bad the first week of waiting, but the last week was awful.  The back and arm pain I had in October returned full strength.  It was excruciating, but I didn’t want to go to the ER where they couldn’t help. The only thing that would help was to take out my gallbladder.

December 12, 2016, I headed to surgery, again praying Jeremiah 17:14, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise.” I also claimed God’s promise in Psalm 118:17, “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

Surgery went beautifully, according to the surgeon.  As soon as I awoke from the anesthesia, I noticed the phantom pains in my back and left arm were gone!  Oh, what joy!  However, my right side still hurt because I had four incisions in my abdomen.  As the wounds healed, my pain subsided.  The first week after surgery was the worst, as my body tried to expel the CO2 used to inflate me during surgery.  But after a week, I felt like a human again, and after six weeks I was able to go for daily walks again.  I am disappointed to note that my nausea and chest pains are lingering, and I had a few complications.  I’m also having trouble figuring out what foods to eat, so I don’t get a stomach ache. My mother-in-law mentioned that some of her pains stayed for up to six months after surgery.  So, I’m prayerful that soon they will all disappear, and Jesus will heal me completely.

The prayers of so many people carried me through this ordeal.  I want to encourage you as a prayer friend, that your prayers really do matter!  The first prayer was when I called Samaritan Ministries, our health sharing organization, to report a need.  The fellow who took my information recognized my distress and called on Jesus for healing.  In August 2016, a visiting pastor came to our church and offered to pray for people after the service.  My husband took me up and the pastor, not knowing my ailment, prayed for my complete healing.  Finally, there were the prayers of all the Samaritan Ministry friends who sent checks to help pay the doctor bills.  I especially liked the comment written by one, “My husband and I stand in agreement for your complete healing.”  And that is the promise I claim to this day.

Signs you should have your gallbladder checked:

  • You eat Tums like they are candy.
  • You have daily nausea.
  • You are turning yellow.
  • There are certain foods you avoid that you used to enjoy.
  • Your digestion changes so that you are either highly constipated or running to the bathroom too often.
  • You have a sharp or constant pain under your right rib cage.
  • You have tightness in your chest and shortness of breath.
  • You have back pain that may extend down your arm.
  • Your pains are not improved with heating pads, pain killers, steroids, or shots.
  • Your pain keeps you awake at night.
  • You are fatigued and need extra caffeine to get going each day.
  • You have multiple, unexplained symptoms.
  • You just feel bad and the doctors can’t figure out why.

Be prayerful and persistent.  If you’re not happy with your doctor, ask friends to recommend another doctor. Be sure to ask for the HIDA scan if the ultrasound is inconclusive. If you’d like to learn more about Samaritan Ministries for help with doctor bills, please check out this website.  It’s a really neat organization. Each month they send our family a name.  We pray for that person and send them a card and a check to help with their doctor bills.  This time it was our time to be on the receiving end.  It really works as Samaritan Ministries helped us with over $30,000 in doctor bills.  Praise, Jesus!

P.S.  I just want to say also, God bless the nurses!  You do a wonderful job taking care of us when we are in so much pain. God bless Sarah, Bunny, and Ali!!!