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First an announcement for those who didn't like the music and self-promotion of the www.bibleonradio.com mp3 and streaming audio... its gone! Maybe its only a temporary thing, but the past couple of days of mp3s have been the commentary then straight into the reading for the four readings. It's shrunk from 25min to about 18 minutes.

Secondly, I'm not much of a goal-setter, for me at work, things get done on time by keeping on top of the daily tasks, and in life, I'm trying to see where goal-setting might help, but, I think the "straight path" may differ for each of us, but as long as it is pointing to heaven and things eternal, I think thats all that counts.

Genesis 48:1-49:33

Jacob said to Joseph, "The Sovereign God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, 'I am going to make you fruitful and will multiply you. I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants as an everlasting possession.'
(Genesis 48:3-4 NET.)

I find the tenses used in this passage very interesting. Jacob states that God told him He was going to make him, not his descendents, not some group in the future, but him, Jacob/Israel, fruitful. For someone who had no knowledge of the resurrection, someone who the “Soon Coming King” would be way into the future, Jacob had an intense sense of eternity in his heart. Do we, those who come after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, see our off-spring, children, grandchildren and great-grand’s in the Big Picture of things as being an extension of ourselves, or do we think everything ends with us? How much of this do I truly understand? I say that I am part of something greater than myself, but do I act it and walk it? Are my actions speaking louder than my words?

I also find it interesting that Leah is buried in the land promised to Abraham, in the cave bought when the land was promised but not obtained fully. However, Rachael was buried on the road outside of Bethlehem. I’m not sure if there is any significance, I just find it interesting. Leah, the “booby” prize, the one not wanted, was the mother of both the priestly line and the kingly line, Levi and Judah. I’m not taking anything away from Joseph, but it seems that God always deals with the unwanted, the outcasts. I believe what we see in these twelve boys played out in this story is a strong reason why we are told to be careful how we judge. We, outside of the revelation of God, do not know how a story will end. It seems the ones with the “badest” reputations don’t end that way. What is that song, “It’s Not How You Start but How You Finish.” I think it is from a musical, but I can’t remember which one.

Grace and peace,

Ramona

P.S.

Mike-I opted out of Art History in school, I took Theater Games and Improve to fulfill my Art requirement. Thank you for catching me up on that which I missed. (At the time the cost of the text books for that class, kind of helped me with my decision).

Ramona

I love Proverbs 21:5 which we read many months from now but it fits Mike's question about planning. "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance but those who are hasty come only to want." As well, I think we see 'planning' or looking ahead in the life of Joseph
where he thinks about the famine and how they should provide for the years to come. His wise planning resulted in providing a lot of help for people who were starving. (see Genesis 41)

I am not a neurotic goal setter. I have a few 'big rocks' using Stephen Covey's terminology, that I always have before me, and around those 'big rocks' I place the details of activity to accomplish those.

I like the statement "Goals are good but goals are not God." I set goals because 'the days are evil" and we are exhorted in Ephesians 5 to 'make the most of every opportunity.' I think that implies wise planning and stewardship of our whole lives--planning for our the various dimensions of our lives---physical, spiritual, social and intellectual.

Re: your question about blessing kids...
That is one thing I try to do when I pray with my children at night. I usually pray the Aaronic blessing over them: Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, may the Lord be gracious to you and grant you his peace.

I actually am also looking for other special blessings from scripture to pray over and for my individual kids that are just for them.

What If I Stumble? - welcome to the blogroll!

http://www.chipbennett.net/wordpress/index.php/2006/01/what-if-i-stumble/

You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Mat 16:2

What are the signs of our times?

In which direction is God's Kingdom moving? What signs do we see and what is our interpretaion of them?

Martha's Distraction - welcome to the blogroll!

http://www.chipbennett.net/wordpress/index.php/2006/01/marthas-distraction/

Ramona,
Great insight: "God always deals with the unwanted, the outcasts."

When I was an athlete in training, I set short and long term goals. In life I did not.

As a Christian, I have set goals that are (I think) in the will of God. Attend worship every Sunday of the month. Pray EVERY morning on the way to work. Give a certain amount of God's money back to him each week. Stick with OYB and complete reading the entire Bible. etc.. These are goals I believe God will honor and bless.

The repeating of the "feeding" to the Gentiles, inabilty of the apostles to "GET IT", the warning to beware the "permeation or spreading" of the pharisees and saducees' teachings, and the "signs of our times"...

Andrew's ?
Since it was the "signs of our times" that prompted me to ask a Christian the question that started the events described in my testimony...

I will list some and more when we get to later chapters of Matthew.

Weather: it is not the intensity of any one event, but the increasing frequency of the events.

Russia: Regaining strength and Putin's new alliances especially with Arab nations.

Israel: Reforming of Sanhedrin and the Discovery of the Lost Tribe of Israel (Manessah).

Apostate Christianity: From within and outside. Watering down of Christ. A less offensive Christ - if you just follow his moral teachings, you will end up in heaven. For surely you will be GOOD enough to gain entry.

Just a few. :)

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