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

Posts tagged ‘bold’

I Love this Guy!

Elijah cropped

Cropped photo from tsheko on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Elijah is my favorite prophet from the Bible for many reasons, but here are the top three characteristics that endear Elijah to my heart.

First of all, Elijah boldly stood up for God at a time in Israel’s history when it looked as if he was the only one left who would. King Ahab and his queen Jezebel (ring any bells?) were in power and one of the first things they did was to round up all the Jewish priests who served God and slaughter them. No wonder Elijah felt so alone! Elijah told Ahab that there would be a severe drought in Israel because of Ahab’s wicked decisions.

Secondly, Elijah listened to God. One of the key concepts in the 1 Kings account of Elijah is that “the word of the LORD came to Elijah.” Each time this is stated in the passage, Elijah listened and more importantly, he obeyed; he acted according to God’s instructions.

How many times in our lives are we prompted to do something that we know is the right thing to do, but we are too busy, too afraid or too self-involved to carry out our orders? We will delve deeper into the art of hearing God later, but think about this question in the meantime.

The third quality about Elijah that I find intriguing is that this man of God suffered from depression. The important thing to remember about Elijah’s depression is that while he did withdraw from people when he was depressed, he never withdrew from God. Even at his lowest moment in 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah cried out to God. OK, he did ask God to kill him right then, but he sought God even in the depths of despair and left the actions to God. Knowing Elijah’s state, God sent an angel to tend to Elijah’s physical needs while he recuperated.

If you read on about the life of Elijah, not only did God not kill him then, God never did allow Elijah to see death, but rather took him straight to heaven! Remember to seek God at all times, especially when all seems to be lost. God be with you!

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, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, 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.

One Hundred Percent

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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.

Fear Not!

mountain_top

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I did not realize as a child what a blessing it was to be raised by a mother who was in many ways fearless. In her forties, Mom beat down her fear of heights by taking up skiing. This meant driving into the Colorado Rockies over Loveland Pass before the Eisenhower Tunnel was built. That hair-raising two lane road rose up to an altitude over 11,000 feet and offered amazing views of the world below. As children, my two brothers and I could not understand why Mom talked nonstop about how beautiful the trees, sky and mountains were as Dad drove over that mountain pass every weekend.

Not until we were grown did Mom confess that she was afraid of heights and had taken up skiing to overcome that fear. What a fun way to overcome one’s terrors, and what a great example of trusting God! Mom’s fearlessness taught us to take life head on and not to be frightened of what might happen. More importantly, Mom taught us to trust in the tender care of Jesus. I Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, “Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because he cares for you.”

The two words that cause panic, crush dreams and stop us in our tracks are ”What if…?” What if I fail? What if it does not work out? What if something bad happens? These are the kinds of nervous questions that God wants us to humbly drop at His feet. He knows exactly what will happen and He is in control, so we do not ever need to ask that silly “What If” question again. What God wants us to do besides leaving our anxieties with Him is to seek His guidance and wisdom for every decision we make and then let Him handle the outcome. Trusting in God’s care will help us to lead the confident, abundant life that He created us to live.

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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