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

Posts tagged ‘redemption’

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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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.

Truth

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

There is a notion in our culture that there is no absolute truth. My first question in response is, “Do you know that to be absolutely true (that there is no absolute truth)?” My second question follows, “Is there a possibility that you could be wrong, thus allowing for the possibility that there is an absolute truth?” Once you wrap your head around this concept, the door is now open to introduce you to God, whose Word is truth (John 17:17).

People often speak of the truth when it benefits them, but try to hide from the truth when it hurts or puts them into uncomfortable situations. The interesting thing about the truth is that living a life of truth and honesty is so much freer than constantly trying to remember what lies you told and coming up with new lies to paper over the old stories.

Jesus told His followers in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Who doesn’t want to be free? Most of us think that we are already free, but the freedom that comes when the heart and mind are opened up to the things of God is really quite remarkable.

The Bible says that we were all created with a purpose by a loving God (Psalm 139:13-16). That frees us from wondering where we came from and why we are here. The Bible says that even though we are imperfect and have done wrong in our lives, Jesus still chose to save us (Romans 5:8). If we verbally acknowledge Jesus and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9). This frees us from needing to figure out how to redeem ourselves, and frees us to live out a life of love and goodness for the sake of Jesus Christ. “If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36).”

Now, go out and enjoy your new found freedom!

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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