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

Posts tagged ‘wealth’

If You are Going to Brag…

rodeo-drive-beverly-hills

Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills photo by prayitno on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

At one time or another, we are all guilty of bragging about ourselves, our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. In the business world we are encouraged to “blow our own horn,” because presumably nobody else will blow it for you. Honestly can anybody out there openly admit that one of the most annoying situations in life is to be around somebody who constantly brags?

Be it from envy, indifference or a mixture of both, bragging just grates on other people. Even the appearance of wealth can be a form of conceit. Having lived in Southern California for so many years, I became accustomed to seeing luxury cars, palatial homes and people who spent more money on a single pair of leggings than what was my clothing budget for an entire year. I also witnessed what the trappings that wealth and power could bring, and it is not pretty.

At one point, I told myself that the drivers of the Porsches and Lamborghinis zooming by me on the freeway were probably either drug dealers or pornographers. Somehow my thinking that they might be prospering from ill-gotten gains made it easier to see as we struggled to make ends meet. Judging from afar was wrong of me and I know that money is not what brings happiness. I also know that a few of those wealthy people are followers of Jesus and quietly shower blessings on others in ways that only the Lord can see.

God has a different take on bragging. Read what He says through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 9, verses 23-24:

This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord. (NIV)

Rather than looking on those with great wealth and power with envy thinly veiled in self-righteous judgment, we are allowed to brag about all the great things that knowing God does for us. We are given permission to brag about the greatness of God and when you stop and think about how amazingly awesome He is, how can we not brag? If you are going to brag, brag about how wonderful knowing God is!

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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Blessings

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Thousands of years ago, God made a promise to a man named Abraham and his descendants: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…” (Genesis 12:3). This was one powerful promise, one that was passed on by Abraham’s son Isaac to his son Jacob. God went on to promise Abraham, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  If you read on, you will learn that Abraham and his family were blessed with wealth, children and honor. As God also promised, the world was ultimately blessed by one of Abraham’s descendants, Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we don’t feel like we are very blessed, do we? When times are tough in our lives, we may find ourselves asking, “Where are those blessings that God promised? We tend to think of blessings as just abundant possessions and wealth; and they can be, but God knows that these trappings may not always be blessings. God has promised “never to leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5).” Is this not an amazing blessing?

If we trust Him completely, we can be assured that God provides exactly what we need, right when we need it. We need to seek Him first, as Jesus instructed in Matthew 6:33, and then we can quit worrying about politics, the economy and our future because He will take care of us.

If we are sincere in our faith in God’s care, we need to remember and recite often the prayer of Agur in Proverbs 30:8-9:

“Give me neither poverty nor riches –
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny you,
And say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.”

As you go about your day, try to see all the big and little blessings around you like your family, friends, home, fragrant flowers, and beautiful sunsets. Counting your blessings is a great way to know that God is taking care of you; it can also give you a better perspective on what is truly important in life.

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.

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