Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Archive for April, 2013

Book Review: seeing God in the simple things

Simple thingsXL

Book by Katherine Weaver

What do kites, smart phones and M & M’s have in common? The writer of this book finds hope and encouragement in God’s care in these and many other run-of-the-mill objects that we might normally pass right over as we travel through life.

Seeing God in the simple things is a collection of essays written during some difficult years in the author’s life. Unlike the standard fluffy devotional one might find in an inspirational aisle at the book store, this is more along the lines of “comfort food for the wounded soul.” Incorporating a sense of faith and peace, Katherine speaks to some of the most painful and common situations that so many people face these days. Her insightful observations gently teach us that especially during dark times in life, we can find peace and comfort if we slow down enough to appreciate the simple things in life.

I would definitely recommend this book for anybody who may need a tender boost of spirit. For those whose lives seem to be just fine, I would also recommend seeing God in the simple things because even when life seems to be great, we can all stand to become more sensitive to the things of God. This book will help us draw closer to God as we learn to consider His signature on so many of the objects and situations we experience throughout the day.

I had the opportunity to meet Katherine Weaver a couple of months ago and will share her thoughts on her book in my next post. Stay tuned!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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Gems from the Begats

Begats

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I may be one of the few people alive who actually likes reading the genealogies in the Bible. My husband calls them “the Begats” in reference to the King James Bible translation. I do have a mild interest in family trees, and I try to pronounce the names and imagine naming a child one of those odd names (I never did for real). What is appealing to me is that the writers of the Bible threw in little tidbits about certain people from thousands of years ago that can be just captivating.

One of the more notable gems is Peleg, who is mentioned in Genesis and then in I Chronicles as being named such “for in his days the earth was divided.” From what I read in several commentaries, Peleg was born around the time of the Tower of Babel when the languages were confused. Since people could no longer understand each other, they began to draw political boundaries according to their language groups. (http://www.icr.org/article/what-happened-days-peleg/)

Another person who caught my eye is Jabez. There was a book released a few years ago about the prayer that Jabez prayed in I Chronicles 4:10. I must admit I haven’t read it yet, but I find it interesting that an entire book was written around one verse in the middle of the begats. It pays to give more attention to these lists of people and their families!

The person in the begats who really caught my eye this time around was a woman in I Chronicles 7:24 named Sheerah. First of all, there aren’t very many women listed in the early genealogies because of the male-dominated cultures of the times, but this woman grew up in a Jewish family who had experienced the murder of their sons by cattle rustlers from Gath (Goliath’s home town). The verse goes on to say that she built three towns (Upper and Lower Beth Horon and Uzzen Sheerah). Joshua 16:3, 5 record that the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim settled in the regions that included Upper and Lower Beth Horon.

Thousands of years later, we can marvel at a woman survivor of a family massacre who grew up to build three ancient cities that were to be in Israel. That is, if you read the family trees attentively rather than just carelessly skimming over the hard to pronounce names. We don’t know if our life’s efforts will be recorded in our family history, but in case they are, consider Sheerah and participate in constructive endeavors that will be of value to the generations to come.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

How Soon We Forget

Image

(Photo from morgueFile)

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

There are several recurring themes throughout the Old Testament, one of which is the recount of the miraculous Exodus from Egypt. It seems hard to believe that the Children of Israel soon forgot the trauma of being enslaved in a foreign land, as well as the miracles that God demonstrated to secure their release. In order to help them stay focused on the greatness of Jehovah God, the judges, prophets and priests reminded them of the Exodus over and over again. Within a generation or so, the people forgot their history, time and time again.

I used to ponder how people could forget the lessons they learned in life, but then realized that the example set for us by the ancient nation of Israel is not different from the way we stray over time from our own important life lessons. Things start going well, or not; and we fall right back into the same old habits that caused our downfall before. “I’ll do it smarter this time, I learned how not to get caught!” This exercise in insanity is so common to humanity that the Writer of Proverbs had this to say, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11, NKJV) If you have ever owned a dog, you know exactly what this means!

Life lesson amnesia is yet another reason why it is important to spend time each day with God. Staying centered on our Loving Creator daily is a great way to prevent repeated mistakes in our lives that cause us so much pain and suffering. Yes, we can make poor choices that lead to our own misery. The first thing needed to get out of the cycle of failure is to take responsibility for your own choices and stop blaming everybody else. The next thing to do is to humble yourself before God, ask for His forgiveness (He loves to forgive) and then to ask Him for wisdom to make better choices in the future. God also loves to hand out wisdom. James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (NKJV)

Ask God to pile on the wisdom and He will, just like that!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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