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

Posts tagged ‘Psalms’

Be Still and Know that I Am God

sennacherib-cheops

Sennacherib & Cheops Ltd. photo by Kevan Davis on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

What is your favorite Psalm? I have several, but Psalm 46 has to be at the top of my list. I must admit that I was a little sad when I realized that this Psalm was not written by King David, but what I did learn from my chronological Bible reading schedule this time around is that this Psalm was written during King Hezekiah’s reign.  Sennacherib king of Assyria sent messengers to Jerusalem to announce that the city would be taken by the Assyrian army and to give up without a fight. Hezekiah was a man of prayer, so he took this threat straight to the throne of God, who answered the king through the prophet Isaiah. God assured Hezekiah that the Assyrian king would not set foot in Jerusalem, nor shoot an arrow there, but rather would return the way he came.

2 Kings 19:35 records that in one night the angel of the LORD killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, thus ending the terror that Sennacherib brought to Judah. Knowing the background of Psalm 46 makes me appreciate it even more!

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46, NIV)

If you find yourself feeling fearful about the current events on any given day, Psalm 46 is the place to go. It would be very difficult to read this chapter without feeling the peaceful relief that comes from being under the protection of God Almighty!

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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