Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Good to the Last Drop! by guest blogger Delia Latham

Let’s talk about anointing oil.

No, I’m not kidding. I was given permission to talk about whatever I choose on this post today, so…I want to discuss anointing oil.

In Destiny’s Dream, the first book in my Solomon’s Gate series, the heroine is a firm believer in the power of this amazing additive to heartfelt, genuine prayer. At the end of every day in the dating agency, she kneels at her desk to pray over that day’s applications—to ask God’s guidance in pairing two hearts. Before taking her petitions to the throne, however, she anoints each application with oil.

This is not a new thing. A crucial part of biblical history, anointing oil played important roles in the lives of the children of Israel. God gave specific instructions as to ingredients and use. He provided different “recipes” for different purposes. Certain rituals were connected with its use, and God expected strict adherence to His instructions in regard to those rituals. Once His conditions were met, however, anointing oil became a powerful connection between His children and Himself.

It still is.

In the Old Testament, this medium—referred to as “holy anointing oil,” was used for a variety of purposes. It played a part in preparing the dead for burial; priests were anointed at certain times, by pouring oil over their heads. An anointed priest was considered to be wearing “the crown of the anointing oil of his God”; kings were anointed prior to taking the throne; the tabernacle and the vessels within it were anointed to make them holy. In the New Testament, it didn’t see quite so many uses, but it was still a common practice under certain circumstances: in preparation for burial, when welcoming important guests, and when praying for healing of the sick.

It’s as if the very aroma of the oil wafts its way to Heaven, reaches God’s nostrils and draws His attention to the need being addressed. As if making the extra effort of applying oil earns some kind of heavenly “brownie point,” if I may be so inelegant. It gives God a heads-up. “Hey, Dad…it’s me. Your kid. I’ve got a situation here, and I sure could use Your help.”

He smells the oil, and his ears perk up. His senses go on all-alert. His heart swells with love. The natural instinct of a protective, caring, loving Dad rises up within Him. The Creator of the Universe charges in, in full battle array, to defend…protect…heal…whatever the need is. He’s on it.

Through Destiny’s story, God opened my eyes to the power of anointing with oil. He used a fictional heroine in a made-up story set in a non-existent California town to give me the key to very real, as-yet-untold riches.

I grew up in a Christian environment. From a very young age, I watched my pastor anoint the sick with oil before he prayed over them. But I never thought about why he did that. Some members of our congregation used to anoint the doors and windows of their homes when they moved into them, to invite in God’s presence and drive out anything unholy that might be lurking within. I had heard about this practice, but I didn’t inquire into the purpose behind the gesture. I failed to grasp the tremendous power being harnessed and put into action right before my eyes.

Have you considered the possibilities God has opened up for you? Are you adding this amazing “secret” ingredient to your prayers?

As for me, Destiny May taught me to pray more effectively. She showed me the unlimited heights that can be reached, the miracles that can be wrought through the power of prayer coupled with anointing oil.

Try it. It’s good to the last drop!

Blurb:
 
Is a little respect too much to ask at a parent’s funeral?
 
Apparently it is for Destiny May. Clay Gallagher is built like a small mountain and far more vocal than is fitting when he shows up late to her mother’s “going away party.” When it turns out he’s not even at the right funeral, Destiny demands retribution in the form of an escape from the day’s dreary proceedings. Spending time with a handsome stranger who makes her laugh is more therapeutic than fighting with her overbearing family.

Clay finds Destiny beautiful, charming...and intelligent. So why is she stubbornly determined to open a Christian dating service? Clay has little respect for such a frivolous profession, and doesn’t think the small, conservative town of Castle Creek will welcome such a progressive business. But when Destiny is threatened by an anonymous caller who deeply resents her and what she does for a living, Clay makes it his business to keep the saucy redhead out of harm’s way.

Trouble is, spending time in her company weakens his defenses, and Destiny may be the one thing Clay can’t escape...if he even wants to.

12 comments:

Mary Manners said...

Delia,

What a great message. I absolutely loved Destiny's Dream. You just keep those wonderful stories coming!

Delia Latham said...

Carol, thank so much for hosting me here at Inside the Writer's Mind! I'm glad you enjoyed Destiny's Dream. (Readers, Carol's comments about the book are included in her previous post, Wading into 2011.)

Mary, you are such an encourager! Thank you for your staunch and constant support!

Readers, your comments earn you entries into the Daughters of Destiny Contest (check out the details at www.delialatham.net/contest.htm). You'll find lots of ways to earn multiple entries - even a fun essay that has to do with anointing oil. The prizes are wonderful...I'm just sayin'. :D

~~~Susan Hollaway said...

Great post, Delia. You are a wise woman, indeed.

Delia Latham said...

Oh, please...I am so NOT wise! God simply used Destiny's Dream to open my eyes a little. :)

Anonymous said...

Delia, don't sell yourself short! God has given you wisdome because you are willing to allow Him to shine through your witness. You will never know--until we meet in Heaven someday--what a difference you have made in my life. Destiny's Dream is just another of your fabulous gifts FROM God TO us. I praise Him for working in your life so that you are willing to be used by Him for the rest of us. Thank you so much for allowing Him to shine through you AND for the impact you've made in my life. I love you more than you will ever know. You've impacted my life when I couldn't open up to others. Thank you. Brenda Talley

JoAnn said...

Delia,

As you know, I enjoyed your story very much. Your post has me doing a bit of thinking-- which is good. :)

I think the anoiting oil is more for us -- to prepare our hearts to talk to our Father. He ALWAYS is there and listens--oil or not. :)

Delia Latham said...

Brenda, I love you too! Even though I've never met you, I believe God allowed our paths to cross. And you've been as much an inspiration and encouragement to me as I have been to you - in whatever small measure I've been able to help out. I appreciate your constant and loving support!

JoAnn - you are absolutely, indubitable correct! :) I hope I didn't come across as hinting that God doesn't hear our prayers unless we use anointing oil, because that was certainly NOT my intention. God hears us..always, even when we feel like our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and crashing at our feet. BUT...I believe God had a reason for implementing the use of anointing oil way back in Bible times. Perhaps you're right...it's simply a preparation of our hearts - a lubrication, if you will, that allows our communication with God to flow smoothly. WHATEVER its purpose, I KNOW it is powerful and effective. :)

Tanya Stowe said...

Hello Ladies,
I'm on the road and trying to keep up with everyone so I'm glad to put down here long enough to say Hi!
I think you have both hit the nail on the head. It is for us and it's powerful. Whenever we take the time to learn something new, it's like opening a door and God's grace, which is always there, pours down on us like sunshine!
thanks for sharing and I'm loving Destiny's Dream!

Marianne Evans said...

Being a devout and practicing Catholic, I believe in the power of anointing oil - not as a property in and of itself, but as a means by which we can draw close to God in a deep and impactful way. The power comes from God, not the oil...but the oil is a fragrant and blessed reminder of Who we serve, and it can be empowering as a means by which to focus on His mercy and grace and divinity. I have a precious memory associated with anointing oil. My ister-in-law - who is a spiritual mentor to me, anointed my hands, head, and heart that my writing might be uplifted to God, and a blessing to others. Such a powerful, tear-jerking moment of prayer and "ordination" in my journey as a Christian writer. The power is all God, the oil His gift. :-) Oh, and PS? Destiny's Dream is fabulous!! (as if there were ever a doubt!) Blessings, Delia

Kara Lynn Russell said...

Delia,
This is fascinating! I had no idea anointing oil was still used in modern times. When I hear the term I think of Samuel annointing David as God's chosen king.

I haven't read Destiny's Dream yet, but now I'll just have to so I can find out more about this. :)

LoRee Peery said...

I loved the beginning of Destiny's Dream. And I'll read the last 20 pages tonight. My daughter has anointed the thresholds of her home with oil, as a blessing and protection for her children. When it comes to many connections with God, I think we scratch the surface of what's available to us.

Delia Latham said...

Tanya, Marianne, Kara, LoRee...thank you all for stopping in! I've so enjoyed the wonders God worked in my own heart and life as I wrote Destiny's Dream! After a lifetime of watching anointing oil used, I suddenly feel as if it's a brand new element in my life, because God woke me up to the power it can have in our prayers (or in our hearts, however we choose to believe). I'm so honored that you're taking time to read Destiny's Dream, and I just pray that God blesses you as much through reading it as He blessed me while I wrote it!

LoRee, my sister-in-law and I anointed my son's bedroom when he was a teenager and I felt certain powers trying to invade his life. The door, the threshold, the windows, his bed, his wall - just dabbed it on everywhere and prayed. (See...I took part in that little ritual, with my s-i-l doing the actual anointing, and STILL didn't grasp the power I held in my hands at that moment!).

Marianne...I love your story! (You really need to look into Part One of the Daughters of Destiny Contest on my website...).