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hi! as a working mum, with 2 teenage girls, it is EXTREMLY difficult to get any quiet time!! i read the one year bible in the morning, in bed, before the girls wake, and i really enjoy that short time. it is usually all i get though. what do others do? i read these notes in the evening, and look forward to them - it's a great idea, and being able to read other comments aswell is great too! (ps:i am in the UK, how many others are not in the US?)

Hi everyone,
this journey as been a blessing to me. I am a wife, mother and a montessori teacher. Life is busy but I love reading through the bible for the first time. I have read the new testment several times and part of the old testment but never all the way through. I am enjoying this it keeps me on track in my personal life and helps me be the kind of teacher I strive to be everyday even when I am having a bad day. So thank you for this I hope I can make it through the whole year, God willing.

In the old testment passage today it seemed to me that indeed Joesph was playing games at first. I think he wanted to just keep Benjamen with him for they had the same mothers and he did not decieve Joesph. When Judah spoke of their father and how he would die without the boy he was moved and could play the games no longer and told them who he was. I think in his grief he became aware of Gods greater plan to preserve his family.

Thanks for this bible blog it is a blessing to me and I am sure to many others
Shar

Joseph weeping...
I think the reason we are unsure why he is weeping is possibly because Joseph is not even sure. It could be a mixture of emotions.

Why does Joseph play these mind games?

Seeing that Joseph could not really confide in anyone about this situation- him not yet revealing himself to his brothers-surely he could not confide in Pharoah, he was alone in what he did. I know his servants helped him, but they didn't necessarily know these men were Joseph's brothers.

Joseph, being so emotional (assumed by the tears), acted strangely. To accomplish the same result of being able to take care of his brothers and family- it just seems there could have been a more logical and easier route. However, it seems we all do weird things when under stress - yet we don't think we are doing this.(Somehow this reminds me of Garden State- excellent movie!)

Maybe Joseph was unsure his brothers would love him since they had previously sold him into slavery. Wouldn't you be afraid of Joseph if you were one of the brothers and he so easily could have vengefully refused to sell you any food to survive the famine?

Maybe Joseph figured he had to bless them with the grain and their money back... before somewhat tricking them to come back to Egypt so he could bless them again and move them to the land of Goshen. He maybe thought he had to go beyond just revealing himself and inviting them to return- because wouldn't you as one of the brothers have been skeptical. I probably would have thought- better safe than sorry- I won't risk powerful Joseph tricking me to come to Egypt then locking me up or killing me.


MATHEW 14:25

"About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them..." I love that Jesus shows up at the oddest time- but exactly when the disciples needed him. I like that JESUS CAME TO THEM." Its the whole Jesus meets us where we are at.

Psalm 18:50

"UNFAILING LOVE."

This phrase deserves its own post! Last year I took to underlining every occcurence of this phrase as I had never realized the author does not merely speak about God's love, but about his UNFAILING LOVE. These two words occur together numerous times in the Bible.

Unfailing love is such a foreign concept to us. Who cannot recall disappointment or hurt in a relationship with a friend, parent, husband or wife, brother or sister? I suspect every human relationship will fail us in certain aspects because we are imperfect humans.

Its worthy to note God's love is UNFAILING and its available to us on a continual basis at any and every moment. This is perhaps why Joseph has this amazing ability to BLESS his brothers, because he trusted in God and knew he was so loved by God- that this knowledge in his heart and mind superseded any bitterness and negative feelings he could have held to his brothers. Do we fail to recognize the actuality of God's UNFAILING LOVE for us?

Stoked!

Genesis 44-45:28

Very rarely do I read your comments Mike before I write my thoughts and impressions. Has something to do with trying to put down my gut feelings and what I believe to be leadings of the Holy Sprit, but today I read them, so I’ll try to do that first. O, NO! This may be really, really long. After the answers to Mike’s questions then what, a dissertation?

OK here goes. Mind Games, do I play mind games. Well, no because I find them just too tiring and I can’t abide folks who do. It’s not that I’m that “holy” where I just wouldn’t do it but it is not healthy for me. In fact I seem to have a “trigger” to stop me from engaging in that kind of activity, my blood pressure shoots way up, dangerously way up. Found that out several years ago when I was began getting wide ranges in BP readings and my doctor had me record them with my very own monitor. That was and is a joy, NOT! One day after participating in this activity for several years I got a great idea, I charted my pressure with a graft. When I was associated with folks who were manipulative and I was actively trying to remain on good terms with them but I had to counter their “mind games,” my pressure shot way up, stroke way up. When the relationship ended my pressure went low to numbers like 115/65. Hmmm. Conclusion: For me mind games are deadly. I can’t play them. I’m thinking God might have allowed that trigger to be in me to stop me from going there.

The weeping Joseph: I’m not so sure that Joseph was weeping because he saw a change in them. What the text doesn’t say but the family dynamics must have been there because of the sibling rivalry, the desire for their Father’s approval, etc, the fact Joseph was 37 years old and next to the youngest, so except Benjamin these guys were between thirty-eight and possibly fifty, is that this was a hostile group of folks. Maybe he was weeping because he connected the two dreams he had as a young boy with where he was now, Second-in-Command of Egypt and was overcome with emotion of the reversal in his life.

I think these guys were arguing continuously because of a statement that Joseph makes which is recorded at the end of the passage. (Look at that. What caught my attention ties in to Mike’s question).

Genesis 45 24 So he sent his brothers off, and as they left, he called after them, "Don't quarrel along the way!" So, after twenty-two years as they travel off to pick up Dad Josephs yells to them, “Don’t quarrel along the way.” When he last saw and heard them as they pulled him out of the pit to sell him they were more than likely “quarrelling” and they are still quarreling, or have the propensity and inclination to do the same twenty-two years latter. These guys are the same it is Joseph that has changed.


Matthew 14:13-36
Hmm, lets see Feeding the Five Thousand and Walking on Water in the Storm. First things first, Feeding the Five Thousand. The miraculous may not be so much in the spectacular as it is with the mundane, bread and fish.

Jesus goes off to be by himself because he has just received the news that John the Baptist was dead. Why did He need to be by himself? John was the herald that announced him, and if John was dead his time would be coming up soon. They were cousins, but did they hang out together? Regardless of what was disturbing to Jesus about John’s death, he wanted to be along, perhaps to hear his Father’s voice. But like so many of us, when we try to get away, the Father says, “You have work to do,” and we find ourselves in a different environment ministering to folks we don’t know.

Now it’s late and the disciples want to end the “camp” meeting and just tell them you’ve got to go eat. You can still get rid of them, you see we’re tired, and still be a nice guy by adding; they need to get something to eat. “See, we’re concerned about them.” But Jesus says, “You feed them.” That statement must have caused some hearts to double beat. They had money because Judas Iscariot was the treasurer, and you don’t have a treasurer if there is nothing to treasure. I think the concern was that the crowd would deplete their surplus, and then what would Judas have to steal? (John 12:4-6; 13:29)

The miracle that I see, the other miracle in this story is that what ever you place in Jesus’ hands, be it bread and fish, He has the ability to multiply. What may seem to us to be of insignificance is magnified in the hands of God. Do not despise the day of small beginnings because we never know how much God will blow it up. Who was and who is the greater evangelist, Billy Graham or the man that ministered salvation to Billy Graham?

Walking on the Water we all know that you can’t walk on water when it is a stormy day. Ya gotta walk when the seas are calm and the sun is out. We seem to focus on what is making the most noise and miss the little things that perhaps are the greater miracle. This is so significant for our lives the small stuff. It is the small stuff that makes the greatest changes in our lives. The small stuff that seems so little, so insignificant but over time once it hits that exponential curve explodes on the scene and we think wrongly that it happened over night. We get on Peter because he began to sink, we get on Peter because he took His eyes off of Jesus and focused on the waves, but the other guys stayed in the boat. And Peter began to sink, he didn’t sink he began to sink. I’ve watched diving competitions and I’ve never seen someone begin to sink. They are either above the water or under the water. There aint’ time for someone to cry out, reach out their hand, catch the hand that is offered so they won’t go down, etc. Unless you slow-mo the camera your eyes will see the object as, above the water, below the water. The miracle, the other miracle is that Peter got out of the boat.

Also take note of what was done before the boat ride, 22 Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home.

Besides the miracle of a person in leadership sending the “people home,” (some of you will get that joke), there is the directive to cross to the other side. The disciples were in trouble, the text states, because of the winds and heavy waves. Now at least four of these guys, Peter included were commercial fisherman whose work place was this very lake. I’m sure they knew how to handle and work with this “sea.” But something came up that cause them to get into trouble. I don’t think this was an ordinary common violent storm this was a spiritual attack. But the expectation was to get to the other side. When we are sent by God to do something we should expect spiritual warfare and Jesus will also expect us to get to the other side.
Psalm 18:37-50

It is amazing to me how the Holy Spirit inspires people to write and they thnk they are writing about one thing but there is a bigger picture unfolding as each letter, each line, each sentence is written down. I am amazed how this Book, this Bible, this Word may in the immediate context speak about a specific event, but in the broader context it is speaking to me and to eternity. Our God is an awesome God!

We make faulty assumptions when we think our problems and our victories are just for us. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of our Testimony (Rev 12:11). Things that we speak of and write about that are inspired by the Holy Spirit are not just for the us-four-and-no-more crowd; they are for a generation yet born. We serve a God an awesome God!

Proverbs 4:11-13
I went back to the first verse and began reading this fourth chapter again and I was struck by how something is stated in the first verse. The writer starts out by saying, 1 HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father. This may not be the intent but what I’m about to say spoke to me in a completely different way. The writer does not say Hear, my sons, the instruction of your father, but it says a father. Wow! Every male/man that has a child, fathers a child is not a father! (Amy maybe that is for you. You can’t make something that is not into something that is: sorry for the aside)
I’m stunned by this revelation and I’m signing off to go mediate on this statement made in the first verse. Sorry I backed tracked and got caught up in a yesterday moment.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I have an idea on the "mind games". It could be that Joseph was trying to find out whether his brothers had changed. Were they still evil and selfish? Did he really want to make amends with them if they were the same guys who wanted him dead?

He was able to find out that they were indeed trustworthy by placing the silver cup in Benjamin's sack. This time, instead of letting their younger brother become a slave, they stuck up for him. Judah, in particular said he would rather be a slave himself. Joseph was able to determine what kind of men they had become. Something he would not have been able to do if he told them his identity right away.

My blog: mybiblethoughts.blogspot.com. There's a link to it on the left side of Mike's site. Thanks.

I think Mark is right on. Joseph was Jacob's favorite because he was Rachel's son. And his brothers had mistreated him because of that. Benjamin was Rachel's other son, so he would be Jacob's next favorite (we see this from Jacob's words when the brothers try to get him to let ben to go to Egypt with them).

So the brothers show up the first time and there's no Benjamin. Joseph has to make sure that they haven't killed or sold him into slavery. When they bring Benjamin with them, Joseph has to test them to see if they will stick up for him or let him be killed.

The tears might have been just because of all the overwhelming emotion. Joseph was realizing that God had orchestrated all of this, Joseph may have still felt some bitterness toward his brothers, but he also felt forgiveness. The past 39 years all came tumbling on him at once and he recognized God's hand in all of it. Amazing.

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