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

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One Hundred Percent

david-goliath-5490152-l

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

David is one man who stands out in the Old Testament as “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) The youngest of seven brothers, David was the ruddy-complexioned runt of the family who was sent out to tend the sheep and then forgotten when God’s prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons (David) king. What was so special about David? What did he do to earn this honor from God? His own family did not seem to be very impressed with him!

David had bold faith. When he went out to fight the Philistine giant, Goliath, David first told King Saul that since he had killed a lion and a bear to protect his family’s sheep, he knew that God would give him the victory over Goliath. He then told Goliath, “This day the Lord WILL deliver you into my hand, and I WILL strike you …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” David’s words were resolute and his actions were not self-serving.  David was extremely offended by the giant’s taunting of God and the Israeli army and was intent on doing something to restore respect to Israel.

David respected authority. Even when King Saul was tracking him down to execute him, David refused to do the king any harm even when he had two opportunities to kill Saul. (I Samuel 24:4-7, 26:5-12) David understood what so few Christian Americans get, that God sets up governments and He takes them down according to His purpose. (Daniel 2:21) Rather than spending the years in hiding from Saul bemoaning his circumstances, David helped people when he could and gathered a faithful following of warriors who would be his royal army when the right time came for him to rule.

David repented completely. David was not perfect and when he did sin, he did it big. Although he already had several wives, King David seduced Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a soldier in the Israeli army. Bathsheba became pregnant by David, so David had Uriah killed in battle to cover up the misconduct. After avoiding God for a year and a half, the prophet Nathan confronted David with his wrongdoing and David confessed and repented before God. He did not try to blame anybody else, he did not try to rationalize his sins, he just fell on his face before his merciful God. Psalm 32 is David’s beautiful song of repentance and praise for God’s forgiveness.

There are many lessons to be learned from David’s story, but being open and honest before God and giving 100 per cent of ourselves to God are two of the keys to being a man or woman after God’s own heart.

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.

Biblical Marriages: Good, Bad and Ugly

Wedding Clip art

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Controversy Alert! Controversy Alert!

Although the oldest institution in the history of humanity is a hot issue, I would like to look at three marriages in the Bible: One good, one so-so and one that was just ugly. The good marriage is that between Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12-21. Judging from the give-and-take in their story, this couple served as an excellent model of a marriage partnership among equals, even in the ancient world. They listened to each other and took each other’s advice, even if the outcome of one suggestion led to conflict in the Middle East that has yet to be resolved.

The second example of a so-so marriage is between the first married couple, Adam and Eve. Not that they had any choice of whom they would marry, but there are some indications that their marriage was mediocre at best. The first sign of trouble was still in the Garden of Eden when God confronted them with their sin (Genesis 3:11-13). Here is the first recorded history of finger-pointing. Adam blamed Eve indirectly, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Sadly, the following chapter records the first murder involving two of their sons, Cain and Abel. These two unfortunate events indicate the first troubled home of many to come in this fallen world.

The last illustration shows a bad marriage in I Samuel 25, between Abigail and Nabal. Abigail is described as “intelligent and beautiful” while Nabal (“Fool”) is described as “surly and mean in his dealings.” I have to assume that Nabal was also abusive to Abigail. The guy was a jerk who messed with the wrong guy, David, who would be king. Abigail interceded on behalf of her husband and convinced David that killing her foolish husband would be a mistake. David backed down. When Nabal found out what had happened, he had a heart attack and died ten days later. Not all abusive marriages have such satisfying endings, but Abigail set a great example of wisdom and intelligence in dealing with not one, but two rash men.

The link in each instance is that these marriages had their difficulties, but the women acted with wisdom and understanding in making their marriages work, for better or for worse.

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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