‘Fraidy Cat Confessions is moving!

Hello again, faithful confessers! It’s been a long time since I posted an affirmation, and I’m sorry for the lag. But I want to let you all know that I’ve moved ‘Fraidy Cat Confessions to a dedicated website. I’m still feeling my way around – HTML is not yet my friend – so I ask your patience with the changing layout. But the content is the same!

Please go sign up for new posts and encouragement to live outside of fear. Leave comments, prayer requests, and confessions at shelleyring.com. I look forward to seeing you there!

Keep confessing the truth!

He anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows

When I was a little girl, my grandma taught me the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” We used to say it together before bed when my sister and I spent the night.

Those formal words from the King James version still bring me comfort and peace.

Many years later, 20 weeks pregnant with my youngest child, I began memorizing Psalm 23. I needed an extra avenue for comfort and peace. Together, they served me well in very trying times, and I meditate on Psalm 23 almost every day now. One of the things I love most is its all-encompassing nature. It truly tells of God’s sovereignty, love, power, protection, and generosity.

As we move into the future, I know more than ever that I must rely on the Lord for my every need. When I am hungry, He provides. When I am afraid, He strengthens. When I am hurting, He comforts. When I am confused, lost, or overwhelmed, He restores.

And when I trust Him, He anoints my head with oil, and my cup overflows. So today’s confession is a reminder to trust Him with everything.

He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows.

Oil in the Bible is often symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Power, peace, and protection. This line gives me a visual of tipping my head back and allowing Him to pour thick, amber colored oil over my head. It seeps down to my skin and saturates me. It affects everything I do and think. Just as the Holy Spirit should affect me.

When I move in this anointing, I don’t have room to fear. I view people and life through His filter. The world is not a frightening place. Instead every interaction becomes an opportunity to point back to Him. I will confess this today and I will live in His power, peace, and protection.

What is your favorite part of Psalm 23?

I will call on the name of the Lord

I’m a strong believer that faith in God is far-reaching. Farther than we can begin to comprehend, in fact. I’ve talked to so many people who seem to believe that God’s help is limited to the spiritual realm. Salvation, grace, mercy, all that intangible stuff.

I disagree.

The Psalms are full of confessions that God saves, that He is a very present help in time of trouble, that He watches over us. While we put our trust in Him for the afterlife, not many of us put our trust in Him for THIS life. And we get caught up in bad decisions or poor thinking that seems to rule every earthly action. (I’m so talking to myself here.)

Negativity and depression want to rule my life. Wallowing in poor decisions of the past, I’m in danger of missing the glory and power He has for me today. What a perfect time to give those decisions, mistakes, and regrets to Him! Today’s confession, from Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13, relieves me of the guilt and shame of the past.

I will call on the name of the Lord.

When I doubt His promise to deliver me, I will confess this truth. And I’ll turn to Psalm 121 for reinforcement. Especially meaningful to me is verse 5: “The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.” It gives me visions of being hidden in His shadow. The enemy passes right by, never even seeing me, because the Lord hides me in a protective shade.

I will call on the name of the Lord today. I will not fear because He stands beside me.

Do you believe God’s help is limited to spiritual things, or does He ever intervene in a tangible way?

 

The Lord my God is a merciful God

Mighty. Merciful. Majestic. Miracles. Music. Mountains. Messiah.

Tonight, my husband and I enter sleepless night forty-two with the littlest little. I’m exaggerating, but only because I lost count how many nights we’ve been up. I pray for God to perform a mighty miracle and be a supernatural tranquilizer for her. (As I write this, it’s after 10PM and she’s delaying sleep by giving me another ‘M’ word I could be thankful for. “Here, Mom. I have a message for you.” So far she’s given me five messages. Pretend slips of paper that she pushes into my hand with a knowing, but sincere, smile. Maybe the Lord will speak to her and she will be His voice, giving messages to people all over as she grows. Yeah. I’m tired. Work with me.) Joshua 24:17: “For the LORD our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us.”

I believe in miracles. I do. It’s just been a long time since I saw one in the form of my children sleeping peacefully all night.

I know we’re not alone in our struggles. Not just that God carries us, but that others walk through so many hardships – and many that are much more devastating than mine. I can’t forget the heart-wrenching sorrow of a friend who can only wish her son was still alive to keep her awake at night. When I think of all those who have pain far deeper than mine, I pray for God’s mercy to be upon them, for His majesty to surround them, and for the Messiah to be present with them. I pray that He would move mountains and reveal Himself.

In light of that, today’s confession calls on the mercy of God. Deuteronomy 4:31: “For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.”

The Lord my God is a merciful God.

There are times it feels like this world will destroy me. I know people think they’ve been abandoned by God, that He forgot His promises. If that’s you tonight, please know what the Bible, His Holy word, says. He is merciful. He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget His promises. Confess the truth and rest. The Lord my God is a merciful God.

Do you feel abandoned, destroyed, or forgotten?

The Lord speaks to me

As with every other confession in the alphabet, I could post one truth after another using ‘L’:

  • Lord of lords (Deuteronomy 10:17)
  • Love (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Lasting (Psalm 19:9)
  • Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
  • Life (John 14:6)
  • Light (Psalm 27:1)

But in considering today’s confession, I came across a blog post by Bird Martin that resonated with me. The reason goes back to the message my pastor gave in church on Sunday. In short, he encouraged us all to confess to someone we trust all of our addictions, issues, holdups. Anything that puts up a wall between us and Jesus. I cringed, having dealt quietly with something for several days.

Okay, I’ve been dealing with it for years. But quietly. I don’t go around advertising it. No, it’s not fear, though Bird’s prayer at the end of her post mentions doubt and fear. But my problem might well be the root issue to this fear. So (breathing, praying, breathing), here’s the advertisement:

I’m a terribly proud, vain person. Don’t judge me, please. Just hear me out, and see how today’s confession and Bird’s post relates.

It’s entirely possible that my fear issues stem from my pride. I don’t want to be found lacking, so I puff myself up and convince myself that I don’t need anyone’s approval. I’m a good writer. (Actually, as long as I’m airing my pride here, I’ll go ahead and say I’m a fabulous writer.) I’m a decent mom. GREAT housekeeper and cook. My list of highly rated qualities goes on and on. Of course, it wouldn’t do to have everyone know that I have a pride issue, so I pretend I’m humble. Isn’t that the good Christian thing to appear?

God is so good to continue speaking to me in spite of my arrogance. What He spoke today comes from Job 38. The first line nails me: “Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind.”

In the whirlwind of my pride and conceit, God answers me. So today’s confession reminds me:

The Lord speaks to me.

The rest of Job 38 tells of God challenging a suffering, yet arrogant, Job. It goes through all that God has done and the endless depth of His knowledge and wisdom. I’m marking this section of Scripture and reading it every day. And in the reading, I will give thanks that the Lord speaks to me.

What is the Lord speaking to you?

He keeps every promise forever

Twenty-one years ago, God promised me a son. Fourteen years ago today, when my husband and I said our vows, He kept that promise with my stepson. I’ll call him the biggest big. At 6’5″ and still growing, he’s much bigger than any big I know! I didn’t realize it at the time, but this biggest big would become one of the biggest blessings in my life. (Okay, I didn’t mean to do that. God must have something BIG in mind for us today, huh?) Anyway, this big has become my son in every way, and I love him to pieces.

Then four and a half years ago, God kept His promise again by giving me another son, the biggest little. Abundant blessings! (Talking of abundance, He gave me a surprise blessing with my daughter, the littlest little. I can’t leave her out of this because she reminds me of today’s confession with every smile.)

God has kept other promises in my life, but sadly I haven’t recorded most of them. One of the things I’d like to start with my littles is a sort of altar to the Lord, where we keep a basket of rocks with numbers on them and a notebook nearby. Each time a promise is realized, we’ll write a number on a rock and record it in the notebook. What better way to remember His faithfulness? (And thanks to my Bible study teacher for this idea.) I’m still waiting on some promises to be fulfilled, but I know He’ll do it. So today’s confession speaks to that (and to the ‘K’ in our line of affirmations).

He keeps every promise forever.

According to Psalm 146:6, God is a promise-keeper. He’s a heart-keeper. He’s a spirit-keeper. In other words, He keeps us in such an all-encompassing way we can’t wrap our brains around it in this life. He keeps every promise forever. I encourage you to start a notebook and record the promises He’s kept to you. I’m going to go celebrate another one: my wedding anniversary with the man He promised to me. Keep confessing, y’all!

What promises has God kept in your life?

Names of Jesus reposted from Chief of the Least

Hey, gang. I’m taking today to repost something from fellow blogger Bryan Daniels at Chief of the Least. It fits well with our affirmations, and I love that Bryan included the Scripture reference for each name.

Take a few minutes today to look up some of these verses, then confess the truth out loud. And check out Chief of the Least for more fantastic insights.

AND HE SHALL BE CALLED:

God (Hebrews 1:8)

Son of God (John 1:34)

Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)

Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)

Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8)

I AM (John 8:58)

Savior (2 Peter 1:1)

Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16)

Upholder of all things (Hebrews 1:3)

Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The Word (John 1:1)

The Image of the Invisible God (Col 1:15)

The Brightness of God’s glory (Hebrew 1:15)

The Wisdom and Power of God (1 Cor 1:24)

The Lord from Heaven (1 Cor 15:47)

Son of Man (Mark 10:33)

The Great Prophet (Luke 7:16)

The Great Apostle (Hebrews 2:1)

Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11)

Messiah (John 4:25)

Anointed (Psalm 2:2)

Lamb Of God (John 1:29)

The Bridegroom (Matt 9:15)

Jehovah’s Shepherd (Zechariah 13:7)

The Door of the Sheep (John 10:7)

Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2)

True Vine (John 15:1)

Tree of Life (Rev 2:7)

Bread of God (John 6:33)

Light of the world (John 8:12)

Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)

Horn of Salvation (Luke1:69)

The Rock (1 Cor 10:4)

The Foundation (1 Cor 3:11)

The Temple (Rev 21:22)

The Altar (Heb 13:10)

Great High Priest (Heb 4:14)

Mediator (1 Tim 2:5)

Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25)

The Resurrection (John 11:25)

Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45)

Holy One (Acts 2:27)

Captain of Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)

Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

Righteous Judge (2 Tim 4:8)

King of Kings (Revelation 17:14)

Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14)

The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6)

Jesus Christ

Does one of Jesus’ names speak more to you than the others? Why?

God’s hand will guide me

Happy Good Friday, peeps. I figured a day that starts with ‘G’ is a good day to post an affirmation starting with ‘G’. As always, there are tons of things we could confess about God today. His goodness, greatness, graciousness, generosity. I challenge you to look up some of those things in your Bible and find the Scriptures that support them.

One of the most important things to me is God’s ability and desire to guide us. This life is about a relationship with Him, and that includes listening and obeying. I often feel like I don’t hear Him, but He’s so creative and knows each of His children so well that I have to trust He’ll get through to me. His hand will guide me even when I don’t know I’m following it. Even when the way seems dark, difficult, and riddled with thorns, as it has lately. So today’s confession speaks to that truth.

God’s hand will guide me.

Psalm 139 says it so well.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

These are verses 1-10, and if you have time to read the entire Psalm 139, I encourage you to do it. It’s encouraging, comforting, affirming, and convicting. And in the midst of reading it, in the midst of your day, confess the truth. God’s hand will guide me. I’ll be saying it loud and often! Then I’ll trust that He does.

Have a blessed Good Friday, and a joyful Easter. He is risen!

Where is God’s hand guiding you?

His faithful love endures forever

Someone asked me this weekend if I could find the word ‘unconditional’ in the Bible. As in, God’s love is unconditional. Salvation is unconditional. Mercy and grace are unconditional. Of course I can find it! It’s everywhere, I said. And then I went to my Bible and tried to find it.

…Looking, looking. (You may begin humming the tune from Jeopardy as I search.)

Well, so it’s not everywhere. Actually, I couldn’t find the word ‘unconditional’ anywhere. But that’s okay. The Bible doesn’t have the word ‘trinity’ in it, either. Or ‘rapture.’ But that doesn’t make those concepts any less true or relevant. God’s unconditional love is defined and demonstrated through the lives of people in Scripture:

Abraham, who tried to rush God’s covenant blessing with Hagar.

Sarah, who laughed in disbelief when she heard the covenant blessing.

Jacob, who lied about his identity and essentially stole the birthright from his older brother.

David and Bathsheba, who committed adultery and then tried to cover it up with murder.

God’s love and blessing stayed with these people (with me!) in spite of bad decisions and faithlessness. Jesus’ life and death is proof of unconditional love, and these examples speak to my heart when I fear I’ve messed up so badly He must turn His face in shame. In 1 Chronicles 16, King David teaches the priests and the people to sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Remembering this truth also gives me strength to keep going when I’m so tired I can only imagine falling face-first in the dirt and passing out for days.

His faithful love endures forever.

When I remember all He has done for me and the power that lives inside me, I feel compelled to get up out of the dirt and take another step. Praying for direction with each footfall, I take another step. And without realizing it, His faithful love has guided me through the fear and doubt. I rest safely on the other side, encouraging others with the truth. His faithful love endures forever.

What does His faithfulness help you accomplish?

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Day two of my alphabet of affirmations, and I’m forced to choose again. It’s a difficult position to be in. How do I decide between confessing my own blessing, salvation by the blood of the Lamb, God’s bountiful work on my behalf, and His glorious beauty? Let’s not forget to bless the name of the Lord.

I can’t do it. I can’t choose just one of these, well, beautiful affirmations. We might have to begin confessing multiple truths a day while we go through the alphabet, people. Don’t complain. There are worse things – like not recognizing the abundant nature of our God and His love for us.

One of the things I love about searching for an affirmation and confessing it all day is the song God puts in my head as a result. I’ve had two of them lilting through today, keeping my perspective and attitude where they should be. (As I write this, He puts another into my head. How awesome is He!)

Chris Tomlin’s version of Blessed Be Your Name. This comes from Psalm 113:2: “Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever.”

And this song by the David Crowder Band. “You make everything glorious, and I am yours. What does that make me?” Ecclesiastes 3:11 in The New Living Translation says, “Yet God made everything beautiful for its own time.”

I love this version of Jeremy Camp singing Beautiful One. “Beautiful one I love. Beautiful one I adore. Beautiful one, my soul must sing.”

You can’t go wrong with any of these confessions. For myself, I’ll be blessing the name of the Lord, and maybe doing it in song if no one is listening. Care to join me?

Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever.

I’ve heard it said that I can’t outgive God. Does that mean if I bless His name, He’ll bless me more and more? Possibly. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 spells it out. But that’s not why I’ll do it. I will bless His name because He is worthy of blessing. And if I happen to get through the day without fear, well, that’s just a BONUS.

What is your favorite song to bless His name?