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

Posts tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

What Happens in Vegas…

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Photo by mandj98 on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

…stays in Vegas. This was a tag line from the Las Vegas Department of Tourism a few years ago. What those ads tried to imply was that there was a glitzy place where one could go to do things that would never be found out by one’s family or friends, should that be of concern. The saying caught on somewhat until the CDC came up with a list of diseases that could easily follow one home.

Jeremiah 23 gives a glimpse of God’s exasperation with the false prophets and presumed holy men of Israel who ignored Jeremiah’s prophecies for happier, feel-good projections of what the impending war with Babylon would bring. It wasn’t that these quasi spiritual leaders lacked the correct information; but rather, they refused to listen to the Word of God, who at that time still spoke directly to His prophets like Jeremiah.

“Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the Lord,
    “and not a God far away?
Who can hide in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:23-24, NIV)

It was as if the false teachers thought that God was not aware of what they were telling the people; offering happy thoughts at a time of impending destruction. They seemed completely oblivious to the fact that they were contradicting God’s prophecies through Jeremiah and even tried on several occasions to end Jeremiah’s life.

There are many false prophets out in the world today who soft pedal around eternal life and death issues, fearing that they may offend somebody. Here is what God had to say about their counterparts from the seventh century BC:

 “Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’  Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:31-32, NIV)

Not all of us are called to stand on the street corner shouting that the end is near, but if we call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to tell others about the sacrifice that He made to save us from our sins. How we convey that message is as individual as we and those to whom we share the message are. We just need to know what the message is by reading and studying the Bible every day and then being ready and willing to speak when God’s Spirit prompts us. And yes, this message is just as urgent as Jeremiah’s call to repentance as the Babylonian army closed in around Israel.

The world as we know it may not end tomorrow, but according to the World Health Organization, about 150,000 people died each day in 2011. For them, that was the end of the world. We do not know when the end will come for anybody, so we do have an urgent message for our friends, family, and those with whom we come in contact each day. Let’s go get the Word out before it is too late!

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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King David’s Legacy

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Photo of Star of David in the Wall of Jerusalem by zeeweez on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

At some point, every leader is concerned about what kind of legacy he or she will leave behind. King David may very well have left the most influential legacy in the history of humanity. The first thing that David did was to stockpile all the resources needed to build a fabulous temple in Jerusalem. The account is told in 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17. David wanted to build the temple, but God told him that his son would get the honors, so David made sure that his heir, King Solomon, had everything he needed to complete the construction. An abundance of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, precious and semi-precious stones and marble slabs were amassed for this grand construction project which took seven years to complete. As great of a legacy as this may have been, it was destroyed about 300 hundred years later by the Babylonians.

King David also organized the temple priests into specific duties so that all the rituals would be carefully carried out. David also assigned four thousand priests to be temple musicians and songwriters “for giving praise.” (I Chronicles 23:5) It could be said that David gave the legacy of worship music that endures to this day. We may not know exactly what the original Psalms set to music sounded like, but there are hundreds of thousands of hymns and songs today that were inspired by David’s musical legacy.

The greatest legacy of David is Jesus Christ, whose family line, as prophesied, came directly from David. Just to dispel any question about His family tree, the lineage of both Mary (Matthew 1:1-17) and Joseph (Luke 3:23-28) are recorded in the Bible. In the way only the God of the Universe could do, God took a sordid relationship between David and Bathsheba that destroyed a family, and provided for the surviving son of David and Bathsheba to advance David’s family line down through the ages to Jesus. Jesus indeed fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies and went on to become a blessing to the entire world.

As promised, the everlasting reign of the Son of David began during Jesus’ ministry on this earth and lives on today in the hearts of believers all over the world. When Jesus told Pontius Pilate during his trial that “My kingdom is not of this world,” (John 18:35) that is exactly what He meant. The kingdom exists in the present and will extend into eternity for those who have placed their trust in Him.

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.

Call Me “Mara”

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By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The Biblical book of Ruth is just four chapters long, but is rich in lessons of faithfulness and redemption. As the story goes, Naomi was a Jewish woman who moved with her husband and their two sons to the neighboring country of Moab because of a famine in Israel. During their stay in Moab, Naomi’s husband and both of her married sons died. If the story ended right there, it would indeed be a heartbreaking story. I have never experienced the death of a spouse or children, but I know those who have and the feelings of loss and sorrow never leave. To experience the death of one’s entire family can only be summed up with Naomi’s words when she returned to Israel, “Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” (Ruth 1:20)

Despite Naomi’s extreme anguish, she did not lose her faith in God, nor did she deny her feelings throughout the ordeal. She did not understand the reason why God had taken her family and never knew the whole story until she was in God’s presence. One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, refused to leave Naomi’s side and vowed to stay with her for the rest of her life. Ruth’s faithfulness was noticed by Boaz, a wealthy and single farmer from whose barley fields Ruth gathered leftover grain to feed Naomi and herself. The story has a happy ending, in that Boaz married Ruth and Naomi was able to cuddle her grandson, Obed. What Naomi did not know was that Obed would grow up to be King David’s grandfather, in the direct family line of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Since we all live in a fallen, corrupt world, we need to know that bad things happen and may very well happen to us. How we deal with disaster is of greatest importance. Losing our faith in God, who loves us and has promised never to leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) is the greatest tragedy of all. If we trust that God knows what He is doing and that He is carrying us through our times of calamity and grief, we will come out on the other side with a stronger faith and broader perspective than we ever thought possible. We may never know why the bad things happened, but even that can be used for good if we cling to our faith in God.

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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