Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ Anointed by Our Shepherd

by Nan Jones  @NanJonesAuthor

Guest bloggers: The Writing Sisters, 
                             Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers      

I'm delighted to introduce The Writing Sisters to you, Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers. Yes, they write their books together and yes, they really are sisters. How fun! I'm currently reading their most recent release, The Shepherd's Song. What a fascinating book that applies one of the Church's most beloved Psalms, Psalm 23, to everyday life and with everyday kinds of people. The Shepherd's Song will penetrate your heart with the knowledge that God's Word is living and is available to minister to us every moment of our lives.There's more info about this engaging book at the end of the post. 

Welcome Betsy and Laurie! 

You anoint my head with oil. Psalm 23:5

It is often the small things that are our undoing.  We know to gather our strength and to pray for life’s large challenges, but what about the petty annoyances that come every day, every hour and even every minute?

In our research for The Shepherd’s Song we learned a lot about sheep from a book by Phillip Keller, A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23.  Particularly interesting to us was the act of “anointing with oil”. The shepherd would anoint the sheep’s head with oil for protection against annoying and dangerous gnats and flies.

         Only the strictest attention to the behavior of  the sheep can forestall the difficulties of “fly time”.  At the very first sign of flies among the flock he will apply an antidote to their heads. I always preferred to use a homemade remedy composed of linseed oil, sulfur, and tar, which was smeared over the sheep’s nose and head as a protection against nose flies.

Oh, those pesky nose flies!  What are they in your life?  One more phone call? The hole in the new sweater? Milk is out?  Cut off in traffic? The little things can grate on us and pull down our mood. Like sheep we need the Shepherd’s anointing and protection.

      Once the oil had been applied to the sheep’s head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation, gone the frenzy, gone the irritability, and the restlessness.

How can we position ourselves to receive that anointing of oil that brings peace and releases aggravation, frenzy, irritability and restlessness?  Just a moment in the Word can change our mindset to focus on the important things in life: loving our families, serving others, sharing Christ. 

  • Look at a scripture message pasted on the fridge: Be anxious for nothing...
  • Carry a card with God's Word in your wallet: Come to Me, you who are weary...
  • Post a scripture message on your mirror: For God so loved the world... 
Keller writes:
       Just as with the sheep, there must be a continuous and renewed application of oil to forestall the "flies" in my life; there must be a continuous anointing of God's gracious Spirit to counteract the ever-present aggravations of personality conflicts.

Keller adds a prayer that he prays when he encounters irritations:

     “O Lord, I can’t cope with these petty, annoying, peevish problems.  Please apply the oil of your Spirit to my mind.  Both at the conscious and subconscious levels of my thought life enable me to act and react just as you would.”

A good prayer to begin the day!

How do you deal with life’s small irritations?

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when I'm so irritated? Guests, The Writing Sisters offer a glimpse. @WritingSisters @NanJonesAuthor (Click to Tweet)



The Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers were born into a writing family, and began critiquing manuscripts at an early age for their mother, Newbery winner Betsy Byars.  They went on to become authors of more than thirty-five children’s novels. Their first book for adults, The Shepherd’s Song,  is being released in paperback  April 2015.

You can connect with Laurie and Betsy on their monthly newsletter where they send out updates and their popular free devotional books. Contact them at  and find them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Back Copy:

Follow the incredible journey of one piece of paper—a copy of Psalm 23—as it travels around the world, linking lives and hearts with its simple but beautiful message.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…

Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she’s done enough with her life and prays, “Please, let my life count.”

Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.

With beautiful prose evocative of master storyteller Andy Andrews’ The Butterfly Effect, this story will touch your heart and remind you of the ways God works through us to reach beyond what we can imagine.


  1. Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Judy! Isn't this a wonderful reminder of the tools God has for us if we'll only apply them and walk in His wisdom? I'm so glad you stopped by. Hope to see you again.

  2. Good for you, Judy! Hope you will find this a good way to connect with God and receive His peace. Betsy and Laurie