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

Posts tagged ‘purpose’

Turn, turn, turn

Seasons

Photo by TheLizardQueen on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I cannot read Ecclesiastes 3 without that Byrd’s song from the 60’s starting up in my head. “To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose, under Heaven….”  There is so much truth to this passage that if we were to step back from whatever life season in which we currently live, we just might find that everything is temporary. If you love your place in the world right now, enjoy it to the fullest because it won’t last. Likewise, if you are going through some of the hardest times in your life, hang in there, because that too, will come to an end.

By the time King Solomon wrote this book, he was nearing the end of his life and looked back on all his accomplishments, which were many, as vain, meaningless, worthless. After living through multiple seasons of life, the last thing any of us want to feel is that everything we did in life was useless. Whatever season in life we are currently experiencing, we want to know that what we are doing is significant, but how do we do that? What really is important in this life?

The main misunderstanding of our purpose in life often comes from inflated egos that say that in order for an accomplishment to be of value, it has to be measured in terms of success like wealth, power or fame. What gives life meaning is to love and be loved, to use our gifts and talents to enrich the lives of those around us. To give of ourselves to the service of God and others produces rewards and brings such meaning and fulfillment that cannot be explained, only experienced.

If you want to find meaning in whatever season of life in which you are currently living, look for the good and find the lessons to be learned in everything. Remember that your greatest personal growth will more than likely come in the hard times, while the fondest memories will come from our interactions with those we love.

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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One Hundred Percent

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By Lisa Nordell-Detres

David is one man who stands out in the Old Testament as “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) The youngest of seven brothers, David was the ruddy-complexioned runt of the family who was sent out to tend the sheep and then forgotten when God’s prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons (David) king. What was so special about David? What did he do to earn this honor from God? His own family did not seem to be very impressed with him!

David had bold faith. When he went out to fight the Philistine giant, Goliath, David first told King Saul that since he had killed a lion and a bear to protect his family’s sheep, he knew that God would give him the victory over Goliath. He then told Goliath, “This day the Lord WILL deliver you into my hand, and I WILL strike you …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” David’s words were resolute and his actions were not self-serving.  David was extremely offended by the giant’s taunting of God and the Israeli army and was intent on doing something to restore respect to Israel.

David respected authority. Even when King Saul was tracking him down to execute him, David refused to do the king any harm even when he had two opportunities to kill Saul. (I Samuel 24:4-7, 26:5-12) David understood what so few Christian Americans get, that God sets up governments and He takes them down according to His purpose. (Daniel 2:21) Rather than spending the years in hiding from Saul bemoaning his circumstances, David helped people when he could and gathered a faithful following of warriors who would be his royal army when the right time came for him to rule.

David repented completely. David was not perfect and when he did sin, he did it big. Although he already had several wives, King David seduced Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a soldier in the Israeli army. Bathsheba became pregnant by David, so David had Uriah killed in battle to cover up the misconduct. After avoiding God for a year and a half, the prophet Nathan confronted David with his wrongdoing and David confessed and repented before God. He did not try to blame anybody else, he did not try to rationalize his sins, he just fell on his face before his merciful God. Psalm 32 is David’s beautiful song of repentance and praise for God’s forgiveness.

There are many lessons to be learned from David’s story, but being open and honest before God and giving 100 per cent of ourselves to God are two of the keys to being a man or woman after God’s own heart.

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.

With All Your Heart

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By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I Samuel 12:24: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you.”(NKJV)

How much of our work can we honestly say we do “whole-heartedly?” Most of our lives are spent completing mundane tasks with an underwhelming sense of accomplishment. We apply just enough effort to get the job done to the satisfaction of ourselves and maybe we add a little more “umph” when we think our work may be scrutinized by others. Truth be told, we may only give our all when there is something of value to be gained for ourselves.

When it comes to serving and worshipping God, we are commanded throughout the Bible to offer our complete lives to God. If we hold anything back, can we really say we are committed to Him? Not if we consider the examples set by the godly men and women in the Bible. Jesus said it well in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (NET)

The great thing about serving a God who is all loving and all powerful is that He can bring about positive change in our lives. If you trudge through life unsure of your purpose and value, serving God with a whole heart will give you purpose and show you just how valuable you are to Him. Your very perspective on life will be different as you start seeing things from an eternal perspective. Colossians 3:17 provides the proper motivation to go through each day with the right attitude, “…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (NKJV)

I challenge you for the next week to express gratitude to God and go about each day dedicating all your words and actions to Jesus. See what happens to your attitude!

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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