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

Posts tagged ‘disaster’

In His Hands

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Photo by JJ Verhoef on Flickr.com

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Over two hundred fifty years ago, Jonathan Edwards (the preacher, not the politician) preached what became a famous sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” If ever there was a hellfire and brimstone sermon, this is it. I cannot argue with the premise of this sermon, because according to the Bible, all who have not believed in Jesus Christ and confessed that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9) are in fact, doomed to the horrific eternal punishment that Edwards so eloquently described in his sermon.

What really resonated with me about the sermon is that Edwards wasn’t just talking to the people who were outside of God’s will and knew it, but he also addressed those who went to church, behaved properly and were Christians from all outward appearances, but did not have the faith and belief in Jesus in their hearts.

I thought of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” while reading I Chronicles 21. King David did something that made God really angry. David confessed his sin and God made David choose from three different consequences: three years of famine in Israel, three months of being overrun by Israel’s enemies or three days of a deadly plague at the hand of God.

David threw himself at the mercy of God, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” David belonged to God and understood that the best place for an imperfect person who belongs to God is in the hands of a merciful God.

Either way, we are always at the mercy of the all-powerful God; wise people will trust in Him and live under His mercy. Otherwise, we are indeed “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The choice is yours to make today.

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

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(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.

When Disaster Strikes

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(Photo from Military Friends Foundation in news.yahoo.com)

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

No rational person wants bad things to happen, but if there is one thing to be sure of in this fallen world, catastrophes do occur. What do we do then? Do we get angry, do we fall apart, do we start pointing fingers before the smoke even clears? If you happen to find yourself in the middle of the event, hopefully you are one of the courageous people who drops everything to help those in need.

Those of us who witness the tragedy from afar may have a wider range of choices of how to respond to the news. In the closing chapters of I Samuel, David experienced a devastating trial and his response is worth studying. He and his exiled army were based with their families in the city of Ziklag. Upon returning from a mission, they found that their city had been sacked and burned and all their loved ones had been taken captive. The first response was to grieve. I Samuel 30:4 says that David and his men “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (NKJV)” So much for the stoic, burly he-man image; visualize an army of 600 warriors crying until there were no more tears to shed.

The next response was not unusual; the men turned on David and talked about killing him. David’s grief quickly turned to despair, but verse 6 says that “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Here is where reading the Bible chronologically is so great. In Psalm 18, David records his prayer that strengthened him in the face of this adversity. David’s next reaction was to seek God’s guidance on the approach to be taken; go after the captors or not? God’s answer was clear: pursue them and you will get every person and everything back. David then went to the angry mob and rallied them to a more appropriate course of action.

I can hear you thinking, “Good for David, but I have asked God for guidance before and I never hear anything from Him.” True, we may not hear the voice of God clearly telling us what to do. Here is the key: as we develop a closer relationship with God by reading His word the Bible, as we spend time in prayer with Him every day, as we seek Him in all things, our path will become clearer every step of the way. It may not happen overnight, but remember that your journey with God is a lifelong one that stretches into eternity. Patience and faithfulness are required to develop a deeper trust in God; He will give you the wisdom to do the right thing in every situation you encounter in life.

For now, we can follow David’s example: grieve, strengthen yourself in the Lord, seek God’s guidance and then act accordingly.

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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