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To those of us who are Christ-followers, we must realize that we speak a language few understand, and the problem is becoming increasingly evident.

Several years ago our family traveled to the SW United States. Since we were only a few miles from the Mexican Border, we decided to cross over and see this foreign land that is our neighbor. None of us spoke Spanish. None of us had ever experienced a situation in which we were obviously the minority. It was an interesting lesson to learn!

Don’t get me wrong. The people were very friendly and tried to be accommodating. There were a few smiles which I assume could have been translated as “silly Americans!”

The problem wasn’t intelligence. The problem wasn’t arrogance or racism. The problem was we didn’t speak the language. We tried. The people tried. But while there was some similarity, there was an obvious communication gap.

I see similar situations in the church today. We need to come to the point where we realize we live in a post Christian Era and a post Christian America. Regardless of who’s to blame, we simply don’t speak a language others understand.

Don’t ridicule the natives. They simply don’t understand. Our visit to Mexico and a small cafe was ‘rescued’ when a server knew English. He could translate to our server what we wanted to eat.

In the spiritual realm we also have a translator, the Holy Spirit. I’ve tried to remember to pray that the Spirit would speak to those in my circles that need Jesus. I can say my words. I can tell my story. But HE is the one who will give understanding. Don’t just pray for those you know who need Jesus. Ask His Spirit to ‘interpret’ the message for you.


Uncertainty is a great crippler of change.

How much easier would it be to choose a new career if we knew it would bring us total fulfillment? How much more confident would we be in choosing a mate, raising a family and planning for retirement if God gave us a white sheet detailing every aspect of our future.

In our human finiteness we can’t possibly know what the future holds. It’s as though we walk through a wilderness with no path to follow, no landmarks to guarantee we aren’t simply walking in circles. It’s like pushing through the underbrush of the forest, being scratched and confused along the way.

Here’s the good news. When you put your faith in God and follow his lead, you can be assured of reaching the promised land. That doesn’t mean there won’t be times of doubt or times of confusion, but even in those times you can be assured he is walking through life with you.

He’s ready to do something new in your life. He’s blazed the trail. He’s provided rivers of provision. The question isn’t if his way is best, the question is, are you ready to make that first step. Books written begin by picking up the pen. Journey’s start with the first step. Seeing God work in mighty ways won’t happen until you step out of the boat.

Are you ready to follow his path out of the wilderness in faith?


Wisdom isn’t dependent on your level of knowledge. Wisdom is using the knowledge you have to its fullest extent.

I have a friend who is my example of the American Dream. He’s well in his 70’s now, owner of over 50 banks, 5 corporations, and his worth is in the billions. One time he said to me, rather sheepishly, “I don’t really know how much money I have, but God has given it to me to bless others.”

The amazing thing to me, and the lesson I’m hoping to learn is that he didn’t operate on tons of knowledge to get him where he is today. He relied on hard work, wisdom and vision. His story starts out as a young man who cut wood and sold it to make a living. But he saw possibilities in what he did know, was wise in pursuing his vision, and along the way picked up the knowledge he needs today to manage his business empire.

What books haven’t you written? What calls need to be made? What is it that you haven’t pursued? (Yes, I have my list!) We serve the God of all wisdom. Seek him to guide you.

Wisdom isn’t dependent on your level of knowledge. Wisdom is using the knowledge you have to its fullest extent!


Foundation 9.28My son, the blessings I give are better than the promise of ancient mountains or eternal hills. Joseph, I pray these blessings will come to you, because you are the leader of your brothers. Genesis 49:26

Someone once said “A promise is only as good as the person who gives them.” Unfortunately, that is all too true today. Politicians make promises of  a better tomorrow and then turn around and blame others when those promises aren’t met. Preachers often make promises too. Promises that if you do ‘A-B-C’ you’ll be blessed with untold riches. Parents make promises too.

I remember sitting down with my ten-year-old son and drawing up plans for an elaborate ‘tree house’ on stilts. That was 30 years ago. The plans are long lost, the promise (hopefully) long forgotten by him, but not by me. Not that the fort was that big of a deal. It’s simply a reminder of all the times I made promises as a parent with great intentions but lacking the time or ability to fulfill those promises.

Broken promises can destroy relationships faster than anything. A spouse can forgive unpaid bills, messy garages and grass that has been un-mowed for far too long. But breaking the promise of fidelity, even if it’s a one-time event, destroys trust at best, and all too often the marriage.

Jacob gathered his sons around him shortly before his death and gave them his final blessings; the final words that would be with them for the rest of their lives. There was Reuben (who was guilty of incest); Judah (who suggested his brothers sell Joseph into slavery) and the list goes on. Jacob himself was no saint!

So how could this man who lived by deception and passed that on to his following generations make a promise to Joseph that “My son, the blessings I give are better than the promise of ancient mountains or eternal hills. Joseph, I pray these blessings will come to you, because you are the leader of your brothers.” (Genesis 49:26)

The reason was simple. Jacob was making this promise built on the character of God, not himself. That’s the key to living in integrity. If we base our actions on our own ability we will surely fail because we are human. If we base our trust and identity on what others tell us, we’ll be disappointed. When we put all our trust in God, through Jesus Christ, we’ll find those promises to be as dependable as a mountain and as long-lasting as time itself.

Prayer: Father, we fail you so often in what we say or what we do. Often our promises are based on the hope we will be able to carry them out. Our intentions are strong; our ability is weak. Thank you that even when I fail myself or others, I can know you will never fail me. In Jesus name, Amen.


They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.” Genesis 42:21 (NIV)

It’s a story I have heard from my youth. Joseph, just a boy of perhaps 18 was a dreamer. He was the favored son of his father and a source of contention among his brothers. So much so that when the opportunity came, these brothers sold their brother into slavery and told his father that he’d been killed by some unknown, but savage beast.

The disadvantage to seeing the end of the story is that you forget to contemplate what was going on emotionally for those involved. Judah, the ringleader of the brothers wanted Joseph out of the way once and for all. Rueben fought for the integrity of family and his father.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, the anguish of Joseph that day. We remember him more as the good looking and wiser ruler that led Egypt through famine and won the safety of his family. But that day near the old well, it was a different story.

Don’t forget for a moment that the story of Joseph, like any story in the Bible or any other book is a story about real people with real feelings and real emotions. These were the guys Joseph played football with on Sunday afternoons. These were the guys that Joseph learned tending livestock from. These were the guys who helped him put the first worm on his hook and cheered as he pulled in his really big fish.

As Joseph was led away behind the caravan of camels it wasn’t just his brothers he saw disappear over the horizon, it was everything he remembered. He left the arms of his father to deliver food and to the best of his knowledge would never see dad again. Some of us have an adventurers’ heart. Launching out into the great unknown has a certain romance to it. The adventurer chooses to leave the well-known for the unknown. That can’t be said for Joseph. As he was led away he saw his very future being ripped from his hands.

Fast forward now twenty years into the life of Joseph. Somewhere in his life Joseph made a decision to trust God. Read his story in Genesis and you’ll see the presence of God in his life mentioned repeatedly. Whether it was before he was sold into slavery or after, somewhere along the line Joseph made a decision to make the best of every situation and to realize that regardless of what happened God was in control. Because God was in control his ‘duty’, so to speak was to serve this God to the best of his ability.

Like Joseph, there are those times when life deals us a horrible hand of cards. There are those people and those events that seem destined to ruin us and destroy us. But we don’t see the end of the story. We must focus on a God we can trust to know better than we do how life should go. We must rely on the one who sees the end of the story to get us through the middle chapters.

PRAYER: Father, during those times when life seems hopeless and I’m not sure I can continue on, help me remember how you used the abuse Joseph suffered to save the lives of his family. Help me serve you faithfully during my distress. Amen.

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