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

Posts tagged ‘Family’

It’s All About Jesus!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sharpie, the Christmas tree coordinator.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Last August, I was walking through Costco and was taken aback by the Christmas decorations that were already up in the store more than four months before the actual Holiday. I was too overwhelmed to snap a picture, but one of my Face Book friends who was in another Costco that same day did. He posted a picture of the display with one word, “NOOOOO!” I agreed; it was just too early to start thinking about Christmas. In my world, the weather needs to be at least below 90 degrees before the lights go up.

Last week, I started reading the New Testament accounts of the events leading up the birth of Jesus. So many prophecies were fulfilled in the first few years of Jesus’ life; so many people were involved, whether they knew it or not and so much has happened since then. Over two thousand years later, hundreds of millions of people around the world still celebrate the birth of Jesus, whether they know it or not.

I thought back to 1999 when I had to have surgery about two weeks before Christmas. I had four hours to finish all my Christmas shopping the day before my operation and there was no way I would get my Christmas cards out that year. There was so much I just would not be able to do. I sat back in my hospital bed once the morphine wore off and decided that since Christmas was supposed to be all about Jesus, I would just relax and let it really be “ALL ABOUT JESUS!”

Christmas has not been the same since then, because we all relax and enjoy the season. Whether the cards get sent out or not doesn’t matter so much. We keep in touch with our loved ones either way. If the decorations don’t make it up onto the house, it’s OK. That just makes it easier when January rolls around and everything has to be put away. If there aren’t tons of presents around the tree and our kids can’t make it home for Christmas, that is all right, too, because we love each other and understand that Christmas really is – all about Jesus!

As we head into yet another holiday season, take time to enjoy the turning leaves, the smell of freshly cut pine trees, the Christmas carols and of course, the peppermint mochas. And take lots of time to quietly reflect on the greatest Gift of all. It is and will always be All About Jesus!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three 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 is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

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.

The Descent of Kings

Winchester-Bible-Samuel-Anoints-Saul

The Anointing of King Saul from christimages.org.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I have often told my teenage children that one bad decision could change the course of their lives forever. It is hard for grownups; much less children to conceptualize this idea since we make hundreds of mundane decisions every day that seem to have little effect farther than that of the moment. The fact is that our lives are shaped little by little each day as a result of the small choices we make as well as the big decisions.

The choice to obey God is always a good decision and to do otherwise will have negative consequences. We can learn patience and obedience from the example set long ago by King Saul, who chose to disobey God during the second year of his reign in Israel. Because of his disobedience, the royal succession in his family was terminated. God selected King David to rule instead of Saul’s family. (I Samuel 13:8-14)

We can learn faithfulness from King David by the way he served God wholeheartedly throughout his lifetime. David’s unfaithfulness to his own family caused his home life to spiral out of control, culminating with the attempted coups by David’s son, Absalom. David may have been a strong national leader, but it is apparent that he neglected his family in the process. (2 Samuel 11-14)

As children often repeat their parents’ sins in ways that are bigger and worse, Solomon took hundreds of wives and failed to remain faithful to God. The consequences of these choices were that his son Rehoboam would lose control over most of Israel, maintaining rule in Judah only.

When Rehoboam was crowned king of Israel, one of Solomon’s enemies who had been exiled to Egypt, Jeroboam returned to Israel and asked Rehoboam to lighten up on Him and the servant class of Israel. Rehoboam first sought the advice of the elders who had been his father Solomon’s advisors. They told him to be kind to them and they would be loyal servants forever. Rehoboam then asked his contemporaries for their advice and they told him to make life even more difficult for Jeroboam and Israel. Rehoboam went with the latter advice and the result was a divided Israel for the next thousand years. (2 Chronicles 10)

In just four generations, we can see the decline of a great nation as a direct result of  poor decision making by its leaders. As we go through our days, we need to be extra mindful that our children are watching everything we say and do, especially the less-than-positive things. Will one misstep destroy our kids’ lives? Probably not, but over time, a pattern of unwise decision making on the part of parents can lead their children to believe that those poor decisions were quite all right, thus paving the way for the next generation of even worse choices.

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.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

people dancing

Photo by familymwr on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

If you could ask the wisest man one question, what would you ask? The meaning of life? Next week’s winning Power Ball numbers? Why bad things happen to good people and vice versa? What is most important in life? We all have so many questions and so many dilemmas that we carry with us through life, with seemingly little relief and few meaningful answers.

King Solomon had, for his time, endless resources in which to explore the deep meaning of life. He did it all, tried everything and came to a sorry conclusion: all that is meaningless. To him, all the endeavors one can take on in life are useless in the end. If you make a pile of money, have a successful business empire and all the trappings that life has to offer, you will eventually die and leave it all to somebody who did not have to work for it and can never fully appreciate your accomplishments.

As for the 85% of the world who work hard every day and struggle just to survive, there seems to be even less hope, unless you read on to see what the wise man concluded. At the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon said this:

Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—

Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind. (Ecclesiastes 12: 1, 13 NIV)

This does not mean that we are to trudge through life as if we were in a lifelong death march. No, Solomon also advised humanity on how to approach each day as we remember our Creator:

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15, NKJV)

We are to enjoy our lives, where we are right now, rather than chasing after meaningless accomplishments and trappings that steal our joy during the chase and even after attaining them, should that ever happen. Find joy in the simple things, seek God in every mundane task. Go on, now, eat, drink and be merry!

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: