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

Posts tagged ‘spirit’

Let’s Hear it For the Bald Guy!

Bald Head

Image courtesy of Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The Old Testament book of II Kings opens with the prophet Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot of fire while his apprentice, Elisha looks on in amazement. Elijah had asked Elisha what he wanted and he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. That was the first indicator of Elisha’s humility and the amazing miracles that Elisha would perform during his ministry as recorded in the next few chapters.

Besides his bald headedness, which should appeal to many men out there, what stands out about Elisha’s story is his humility as he predicts future events, performs miracles and brings the dead back to life. How many of us, if gifted with such great spiritual abilities would refuse to profit from the miracles, even when sent by assertive military commanders? We live in a time that these activities would surely be exploited by the media, even if one tried to avoid the exposure. Consider some of the things Elisha did:

• Made bad water good in Jericho by throwing salt into the spring (II Kings 2:19-22)
• Filled a barren valley with water for Israel’s army (II Kings 3:9-20)
• Provided an abundance of oil for a widow and her children to pay off her debts and survive (II Kings 4:1-7)
• Raised a boy from the dead (II Kings 4:18-37)
• Made poison stew edible (II Kings 4:38-41)
• Fed over 100 people with 20 loaves of bread (II Kings 4:42-44)
• Healed a Syrian commander from leprosy (II Kings 5:1-14)
• Made an iron axe head float on the water (II Kings 6:1-7)
• Blinded and took the Syrian army captive (II Kings 6:18-23)

I often marvel at the miracles I read about in the Bible and know that we serve the same God and have the same Spirit that these men and women had, and yet we don’t hear about miracles of this magnitude. I believe that miracles do still happen but not like this. Why is that? For one thing, now that God has delivered His Word to humanity, we have the information we need to have a saving relationship with Him.

Another reason for the absence of great miracles is the lack of focus on God by the spiritual leaders of our day. It seems that even humble pastors become obsessed with the number of people that come to their churches. I once heard another pastor’s wife refer to this as “chenis envy.” As their churches grow, they seem to become more focused on selling their books and DVDs. Over time, something happens and the ministry to lost sheep becomes an opportunity for gain as the seduction of fame and fortune overcomes so many of the well-meaning church leaders.

Whatever the reason, the thing we need to remember that we do serve the same loving and awesome God who sanctioned the prophets of old. If His Holy Spirit lives in you, the possibilities are endless! Keep your focus on God and have the faith to know that His Spirit will be with you to empower you in every situation life hands you.

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.

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.

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