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

Archive for May, 2013

God Said ‘No’ to Me!

Crying child illustration

Photo by RachelH_ on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

“Mom, Dad said ‘No’ to me!” Our three-year-old son came running to me one day to “rat out” his dad.

“Good!” I replied, knowing that what he wanted was not in his best interest. I honestly don’t remember what our son wanted so badly, but my husband and I were in total agreement that whatever it was would not be good for our boy.

Part of the job of responsible parents is to evaluate requests from our vast knowledge database of experience, or to put it simply, think about it and then tell the child whether or not he or she will be allowed to receive what was requested.

Sometimes, the child will be disappointed and that will be that. More often, depending on where you are and how many people are potential witnesses to the fallout; the child may attempt to throw a tantrum. I think I have seen them all, from whiny appeal to the all-out meltdown that requires a swift removal from the scene and heavy doses of love.

As much as we adults would like to think that we are above that kind of childish behavior, most of us would have to admit that we have at one time or another pitched a fit when our prayers to God were not answered in the way that we asked. How many of us have stood with our arms raised to the sky and wanted to scream, “Why are you doing this to me, God? Why won’t you give me what I asked for?” This is not the kind of outburst one throws from not getting the Lamborghini; this is more the cry of a wounded heart that has lost a loved one or the cry of despair when all the job leads have proved to be unfruitful and the unemployment is running out. God doesn’t want to hurt us; He loves us and wants what is best for us. Sometimes He has to correct us in the process, as Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV) describes:

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

God knows us better than we know ourselves and saying, “No” is part of our Heavenly Father’s job. Rather than breaking down or giving up on God, keep in mind that He has something much better planned for you. It is wise to accept God’s will and discipline, knowing that He always has your best interest at heart.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), 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.

When Life Gives You Pickled Lemons…

lemons_smoorenburg

Photo by smoorenburg on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Remember that old adage that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? There are some things that happen in our lives which cannot be sweetened up, no matter how much sugar is dumped over them. At times, the events of life cause deep grief and recovering from them takes time and patience. In the meantime, things can look pretty sour. And salty, if you were served pickled lemons. What can we do in the meantime to lift our spirits?

Today, I embarked on reading Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible by far with 176 verses. What caught my eye first was verse 11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” When we are down in the dumps, the first thing we need to do is run for our Abba Father God, rather than the refrigerator. He knows our hurts, shares our grief and is always there to comfort us.

As I continued reading, I noticed a pattern of phrases that dealt directly with depression and grief. “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me with Your word.” (Psalm 119:25) Ever feel like that? How about this one in verse 28: “My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word.”

Read on to verse 50: “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.” No matter what the circumstances, the Bible is here to bring us up out of the dumps and to encourage, strengthen and bring much needed comfort into our lives. The key is back in verse 11, to have God’s word in our heart. Nobody can take that away and God’s comfort is always there to shine in the darkest of times.

Are you still wondering what to do with the pickled lemons? They won’t make lemonade, but they do add zing to many Mediterranean recipes, so get cooking!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), 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.

Wisdom

fruit_salad_plindberg_Flickr

Photo by plindberg on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Miles Kington said, “Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad.” I smile every time I think about this quote, because it so clearly distinguishes between knowledge and wisdom in a way most people can understand, even the unwise ones.

Knowledge is easily attained by those who want to become more knowledgeable, especially now with the Internet and smart phones, but it seems that wisdom has been left in the dust far behind the vast knowledge gains that technology has brought to humanity. Why is that? Wisdom does not come instantly, but rather over time through humble introspection, observation and life experience.

Soon after he was crowned king of Israel, God asked Solomon, “Ask! What shall I give you?” Wait a minute. What would your answer be? I cannot think of any other time in scriptures that God comes to anyone like a genie in a bottle, ready to grant any wish. Solomon’s answer showed either a high level of wisdom or bewilderment over the reality of ruling a nation.

Solomon responded with this request, “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:7, 10) The story goes on to tell that not only did God grant Solomon’s humble request for knowledge and wisdom, but He also gave Solomon what  many of us would wish for: peace, wealth and honor.

What is great for us to know is that wisdom was not reserved just for an Israeli king who lived thousands of years ago; God will give it freely to anyone who asks Him. James 1:5-6 gives the formula for attaining wisdom: “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. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” Isn’t that great? All we have to do to be wise is to ask God in faith and know that just like with King Solomon, He will deliver!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), 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.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: