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

Posts tagged ‘depression’

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.

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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.

The Big Book of Song Lyrics

 sheet-music-notes.

Photo by Chance Agrella courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, http://www.freerangestock.com.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Another one of the great things about reading through the Bible in chronological order is that the book of Psalms is sprinkled throughout the readings; written in response to what was happening at the time. Most people think that David wrote all of the Psalms, and he did write a majority of them, but there are Psalms attributed to Moses (Psalm 90, 91), Solomon (Psalm 72, 127) and others as well.

Throughout the millennia to this very day, the poetry of the Psalms resonate in the human heart; songs of joy, praise, despair, loneliness, depression, redemption and victory. If you have grown up in church and listen to contemporary Christian music, you will not be able to read very many Psalms before you recognize familiar lyrics from hymns of old to the newest song by Chris Tomlin. Whatever the song, it rings in my heart and stays in my mind, whether I like it or not, for the rest of the day.

Music was created by God as a beautiful conduit to the soul and to offer another dimension of praise to Him. Music with lyrics derived from the Psalms or other passages in the Bible can bring us closer to God through the positive words and by helping us to remember verses from the scriptures.

If you don’t currently listen to Christian music during the course of your days, I would like to challenge you to tune into a Christian radio station, many of which are now online, exclusively for the next 30 days. See if listening to music intended to bring praise to our Creator God doesn’t make a difference in your days and bring you closer to Him. If you are reading through the Bible, you will probably hear some familiar lyrics from the Word as well!

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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