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

Posts tagged ‘visualize’

When Disaster Strikes

Boston_Bombing

(Photo from Military Friends Foundation in news.yahoo.com)

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

No rational person wants bad things to happen, but if there is one thing to be sure of in this fallen world, catastrophes do occur. What do we do then? Do we get angry, do we fall apart, do we start pointing fingers before the smoke even clears? If you happen to find yourself in the middle of the event, hopefully you are one of the courageous people who drops everything to help those in need.

Those of us who witness the tragedy from afar may have a wider range of choices of how to respond to the news. In the closing chapters of I Samuel, David experienced a devastating trial and his response is worth studying. He and his exiled army were based with their families in the city of Ziklag. Upon returning from a mission, they found that their city had been sacked and burned and all their loved ones had been taken captive. The first response was to grieve. I Samuel 30:4 says that David and his men “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (NKJV)” So much for the stoic, burly he-man image; visualize an army of 600 warriors crying until there were no more tears to shed.

The next response was not unusual; the men turned on David and talked about killing him. David’s grief quickly turned to despair, but verse 6 says that “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Here is where reading the Bible chronologically is so great. In Psalm 18, David records his prayer that strengthened him in the face of this adversity. David’s next reaction was to seek God’s guidance on the approach to be taken; go after the captors or not? God’s answer was clear: pursue them and you will get every person and everything back. David then went to the angry mob and rallied them to a more appropriate course of action.

I can hear you thinking, “Good for David, but I have asked God for guidance before and I never hear anything from Him.” True, we may not hear the voice of God clearly telling us what to do. Here is the key: as we develop a closer relationship with God by reading His word the Bible, as we spend time in prayer with Him every day, as we seek Him in all things, our path will become clearer every step of the way. It may not happen overnight, but remember that your journey with God is a lifelong one that stretches into eternity. Patience and faithfulness are required to develop a deeper trust in God; He will give you the wisdom to do the right thing in every situation you encounter in life.

For now, we can follow David’s example: grieve, strengthen yourself in the Lord, seek God’s guidance and then act accordingly.

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.

The Loving Lawgiver

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

What is your vision of a perfect world? Most visualize a civilized life where nobody hurts anyone else, where everybody works for the common good, where there is no poverty, crime or injustice. Interestingly, that is the way God made the world to be. He also built free will into that Utopian dream, because He didn’t want us to be robots incapable of love.

The only law at the beginning was that the man and woman were not to eat a certain fruit. Breaking that only rule seemed pretty harmless; after all, the fruit was not even poisonous. The first people who lived in the Garden of Eden chose freely to disobey the only decree, thus creating an unfortunate chain of events that led to the chaos in which we now live.

Many years later, God delivered to the ancient nation of Israel the most perfect set of laws, the Mosaic Law, which included the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). If God’s people followed these laws, they would enjoy a civilization that, while imperfect, could be like Paradise . The interesting thing about The Law is that God knew when He gave them; humanity would be incapable of keeping the laws perfectly. After all, the first couple couldn’t even obey one simple rule!

When asked what was the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus boiled it all down to love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37, 39) Keeping this law of love seems simple enough and will surely make the world a better place.

The key is that you can’t love your neighbor or even yourself until you learn to love God. That is why we are here, learning about God so that we can enjoy a closer relationship with Him and love Him for who He is. After you start loving God, the ability to love others and yourself will come along.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother or four, 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.

A Walk in the Garden

As I pointed out in my introductory article, God created us to have a personal relationship with Him. In our fallen state, we are not able to actually see God, even though some can feel His presence, hear His voice and are led by His Spirit. In Genesis 3, God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden He had made for them. The Bible says that Adam and Eve “heard the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). What did it sound like to have God walking through the garden to visit with His most precious creations?

Close your eyes and picture yourself walking with God in the most beautiful garden you can imagine. Breathe deeply every day and visualize Jesus, God in human form walking and talking with you as your best friend. All you need to do is to believe that He is real and start talking to Him as the friend He wants to be. Learn from Him by reading His word (the Bible), talk to Him every day just as you talk with your best friend (pray), open your mind to Him and open your eyes to His beautiful creation all around you.

Genesis 5:24 says that Enoch, Adam’s great-great-great-great grandson, “walked with God.” They were so close that God took Enoch away so that he did not have to experience death. Genesis 6:9 says that “Noah walked with God.” Because “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:8), God spared him and his family from death in the great flood.

Amazing things can happen when we walk with God. It is my goal in this life to walk so closely with God that as I breathe my last breath, I will just take one more step and I will be walking with Him for all eternity. I hope that this will become your goal as well.

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