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?

In peace I will lie down and sleep

I’ve said before that the battleground Christians occupy is the mind. My mind seems to be most vulnerable to attack when I’m tired or even asleep. I dream a lot, and some nights it feels like I haven’t slept at all. My dreams are full of horrific images that last for days. Rarely does a dream repeat, but on occasion I will see the same images several dreams in a row. It makes me afraid to close my eyes.

Other people hesitate to close their eyes for other reasons. Panic attacks, depression, fear and dark thoughts. Whatever the struggle, today’s confession helps me get through the night. More than once, the Bible promises that God watches over us even in sleep. “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me” (Psalm 3:5). Then again a few verses later, in Psalm 4:8, David says, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

What better protection could we have? The God of the universe promises to watch over us in sleep. Knowing that allows me to close my eyes and enjoy not only sleep, but rest. Peace.

In peace I will lie down and sleep.

I was afraid today’s confession would come too late in the day to do any good, but God is gracious even in this. When you lie down at the end of this day, remember His promise and repeat it. Post it on your mirror, on your ceiling, on your pillow. Pray it over yourself and know that the Lord alone keeps you safe.

Do you struggle with peace in your sleep?

Whatever happens, I will rejoice in the Lord

Christmas is meant to be a time of celebration, of joy and peace and comfort. Unfortunately, the world we live in and the enemy we face try to destroy that. They take away our joy and replace it with stark panic. We forget that a Savior was born, that He lived and died so we could enjoy the promises of God. We forget to live in the abundant blessing of a loving Creator, and we forget to share the blessing with a hurting and dying world.

My husband came home from work last week with a situation that put me in stark panic. I forgot the blessings, the promises, the assurance of God. Today does not look especially abundant for my family. With a heavy heart and an uncertain future, I turn to the Bible for direction. And I find today’s confession:

Whatever happens, I will rejoice in the Lord.

It reminds me that the battle we fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, and that the battlefield is in the mind. Paul tells the Philippian church in chapter 3, “Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.” I don’t know what those believers faced specifically, but death and mayhem usually played a large role. I am not facing death (though mayhem always worms its way in), so if they could rejoice, I can too. I will rejoice in Jesus for the blessings He gives me.

For today, my children have a warm home and a little bit of food.

For today, my husband can get to work.

For today, I can stay with my littles, hold them tight and take care of them.

And always, I belong to Jesus. I can share my faith with my family and with my readers. I can pray, knowing God hears me and loves me and desires to bless me. Indeed, I will rejoice in the Lord.

What challenges are you facing today? Can you rejoice in the Lord in spite of them?

God will generously provide all I need

Can you separate your needs and your wants? I’ll be honest; it’s difficult for me to do that sometimes.

I need shelter – but I really want a beautiful house with a master bathroom.

I need heat in the winter – but I would so love a fireplace to deliver it instead of (or in addition to!) the furnace.

I need food and drink – but chocolate and iced tea nurture my soul!

“God will generously provide all you need”  Corinthians 9:8. Two words in this scripture seem at odds to me. What does it mean when the Bible says God will generously provide all I need? Chocolate and iced tea are luxuries and for now they still fit in my budget, but can I expect the fireplace and master bathroom? They are not essentials to my existence, so perhaps not. I do know He will provide what I need, and that’s a comfort in this world where nothing is certain, where I can’t do or be enough, and where everyone thinks of himself first.

If you find yourself in a position of need today, turn it into a prayer and then confess the truth with confidence. He hears you! He loves you, and He wants you to trust Him.

God will generously provide all I need.

The bonus that’s implied in this scripture is that He knows what I need. He knows better than I do, so I can rest peacefully without worrying about my future or my children’s futures. Maybe that’s just part of his generous nature.

What do you need today? How do you see Him providing for you?

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving

Well, come on. Did anyone really expect any other kind of confession for Thanksgiving week?

In spite of the name of the holiday, too often we become overwhelmed with the details and miss the point. How many people are coming to dinner, how much turkey should I make, is the house clean enough, are my kids clean enough, am I clean enough? These are some of the thoughts I have – thoughts that take up way too much room in my little brain and distract me from having a grateful heart. Instead, I’m going to start the week declaring my thanksgiving. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!

I have so much to be thankful for. Jesus loves me, my children are healthy and strong, my husband is a faithful, hard worker who loves his God and his family, and we have a warm, safe place to sleep at night. This is just the start of my list. I’ll be working on that list all week in an effort to keep a grateful heart. Join me! Find a peaceful place and close your eyes. Repeat it with me: I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!

What are you giving thanks for this week? I’d love to hear your reasons!

I have peace at all times and in every situation

Today’s confession can be a challenge, and it’s sure to be necessary at some point for some reason every day for the rest of the year.

Thanksgiving week is at our doorsteps – and immediately after that will be the Christmas season. Whether you celebrate these holidays with the rest of the country or choose to recognize the purpose of the holidays in another way, the busy-ness of the season is undeniable. It’s easy to overlook the brightness, the hope, and the joy. Let’s be honest, celebrating abundance and the birth of our Savior can be stressful.

No matter how you celebrate, take time today to stop the busy-ness and reflect on the person of Jesus Christ. And let today’s confession move your spirit to places of rest, trust, and peace. As 2 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.” Not to be simplistic, but it can be as easy as believing it and accepting it. Repeatedly. Accept it over and over, every time you feel it slipping away, confess it again.

I have peace at all times and in every situation.

His peace surpasses understanding, so when the noise around you is deafening and the chores seem insurmountable you can calm the storm within and truly give thanks for the gift of Him.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas? What are the sources of stress you face?

Jesus’ gift to me is peace of mind and heart

I admit it: I love gifts. A perfectly wrapped package with a pretty little bow on top makes my day. Wrap it in the funny papers, and it makes my day. Wrap it in foil. Whatever. And fill it with anything (chocolate and stationery products earn extra points), and I’ll be happy. The point is the joy of receiving a gift that someone thought would please me.

All that aside, the best gift I’ve ever received had no wrapping. It’s the gift that will continue giving until long after I’m dead, and I pray to pass this one along to as many people as I can reach. Jesus gave me the gift of grace, mercy, salvation, and eternal life with Him. Now that’s something Someone thought would please me.

It’s just like our God to be abundant with His gifts (we’ll talk more about abundance later) and this is no exception. He didn’t stop with grace, mercy, and salvation. He wrapped up the gift of peace and placed it straight into your heart.

Today’s confession isn’t one we can pretty up and place in someone’s outstretched hand. It’s as pretty as it could ever be, and it’s not ours to give. But we can speak it into our lives and pray it into the lives of others. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 15:27

Jesus’ gift to me is peace of mind and heart.

I confess it today. Will you?

The God of peace orders my day

Ever had one of those particularly chaotic days when it seems like everything that can go wrong, will? Water on the floor, no milk for your cereal, a nasty computer virus, and a maddening drip SOMEWHERE in your house. Before you know it, you have no computer, several holes in your walls, and a broken pipe that’s been gushing water into your basement – for weeks or months without your knowledge. And there’s still no milk for your cereal.

When my littles were newborns, I was so dizzy with emotion and hormones that I literally couldn’t see through the haze of sleeplessness, neediness, loneliness, and confusion. My days were unordered and frightening. It’s a wonder I didn’t burn my house down or forget to feed someone. (Actually, I think there were several evenings I forgot to make dinner and once or twice I forgot to feed the dog. Thank goodness for my forgiving husband and Chick-fil-a. And a truly great dog.)

Today’s confession soothes my frazzled nerves. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” 1 Corinthians 14:33. Knowing that my God works with reason, order, and peace helps me to slow down and turn control over to Him. I don’t have to know everything or do everything. I just have to trust Him and let His peace order my day.

The God of peace orders my day.

Because, truthfully, if He can the universe from a formless and empty space, He can surely organize my day.

Is chaos the norm for you, or have you managed that delicate balance between busy-ness and peace?

His peace guards my heart and mind

I wonder sometimes what the world, what life, looks like to people who don’t know Jesus. Is it as bright as they want others to believe, or is it dark and fearsome? One thing is certain: if it’s not fearsome now, it will become so.

My dear friend is a nurse in the ER and posted a beautiful blog recently about heartache and loss. But while the world is often dark, her life is not. She knows Jesus.

Yet another financial road bump hit my family this week. Costly repairs on our car come at a time of low income and high bills. The world is dark (and expensive, she says, laughing), but our lives are not.

And today a woman told me that she and her husband are out of work entirely. They have no income, but her smile was bright. I had to wonder if she knows Jesus.

The darkness makes me turn to the Bible and soak up the peace in those pages. Today’s confession is important today, but we might find ourselves turning to it more and relying on it more in the near future.

His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

This scripture is encased in the instruction not to worry, but to pray about everything. “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

God knows what you need, but tell Him anyway. He wants to hear from you! And while you’re telling Him, acknowledge this truth:

Your peace guards my heart and mind.

Blessings on you today, dear reader. Leave a comment and let me know how I can pray for you.

With God all things are possible

Pop quiz: When was the last time you used the word ‘impossible’? As in, “That’s impossible.” or “I’m impossible.”

For me, it’s almost a daily challenge to ban that word from my thinking. For one thing, I’m, er… slightly melodramatic. I think we’ve established that fact. I tend to over-exaggerate. (Are you proud of me? I totally avoided – like TOTALLY avoided – melodrama and exaggeration there. I’m never going to exaggerate AGAIN!)

For another thing, I like to use dry wit at my own expense. I roll my eyes and say, “I’m so impossible.” Or I look at my goals and think, “Yeah. Right. IM-possible.”

Today’s affirmation directly contradicts that thinking. I want you to look in the mirror this morning and say these words out loud, believing them, believing in the power of God. This is not about your own superior ability to do all things. It’s not about your super-human efforts. It’s not about you. This is about God, about His love for you, and about His power to do ALL things. (And that is not an exaggeration, my friends. That is Truth. See for yourselves.)

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

With men, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:36

It stands to reason, then, that with God all GOOD things are possible. Want to make this affirmation more personal? Do it. “Every good and every perfect gift in my life is from God, with whom all good things are possible.” And name your gifts. Your spouse? Your children? The ability to pay all your bills – and still have enough to get a coffee or a special treat – in this time of economic uncertainty? How about friends that keep your chin up? Your health? Even pets can be gifts from God. Don’t forget those gifts that enrich others’ lives. Wisdom, joy, peace. Yes, all the gifts of the Spirit are included here. Look for them, too!

Go into the world today knowing that every good and perfect gift is from God and that He loves you so much, He wants to do impossible things in your life!

What impossible thing are you asking Him for today?