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What really stood out for me in today's readings was the break down and weeping of Joseph and his brothers when he, Joseph revealed his true identity.
As for pyayer times; this is something I like to do on walks with my dog in the quiet Spanish 'campo' at sunrise as I admire the Lord's handiwork.

I have really enjoyed reading about Joseph & his bros, it really touched me.
I go away almost monthly in the summer to a lake 4 hrs away. I have friends there that don't understand when I say I am going to go have some quiet time with God. I sit at the shoreline alone with my journal & Bible & have had some wonderful insights given to me that I may have missed if I had been shopping with the friends. My time with the Lord is the most treasured thing He has given me. My journal is tear stained as well as joyful when I read His words to me & is exact as if He is standing there with me. I have seen sunrises, sunsets & full moons that literally take my breath away. I have sat on my rock there for 4 hrs & it seems it was only a few minutes! One day it dawned on me that when I need Him I go to my rock/Rock to receive refreshment, renewal & answers to prayer. But you HAVE to listen & not talk most times. It's very hard to get the noise out of your head but when it does, look out! You may be told things you didn't want to hear & will be a major learning session also. Funny thing, one day the waves were crashing on shore just as I was inside & as the day went on I noticed the water had slowed to a barely making sound on the shore as I had settled down & peace came over me also!

I believe that Joseph was weeping like we do for the salvation of loved ones. I think the "mind games" were simply obedience to God -God helping Joseph to see that he could trust these brothers of his, who in the past were heartless towards him. Joseph could see the big picture, but still had to deal with broken trust. He had forgiven his brothers already. He possessed the"gentleness of a dove" towards them. Being "as wise as a serpent" is equally important. Would he want to bring his Family to Egypt if they were still divided against him? Would God or Pharaoh want that? I think he was so happy at this point that he would not have to turn them away, or wait until a later day. today is the day of salvation. Do we not have happy tears when we see a lost one saved? It was hard for Joseph to test them. I have been in a place where I could have brought healing, but the wisdom Joseph had was not there for me. We all must grow in our relationship with God to lead others to the cross and be there for them afterwards. One way and only One- Jesus, the Word.

An area in my life, I am sinking is finances. I believe that God will provide our needs, but I want to be careful I am not believing the "prosperity gospel". As in yesterday's post, following the Lord does not always imply "health and wealth". I do not want to fall into the dangerous logic that I am just not praying with enough faith and that is why God is not providing.

I've been reading Walking The Bible: A Journey By Land Through the Five Books of Moses. I've been reflecting about the spiritual signifgance of the Israelites time in the desert..this time was to help them find their identity and unify as a people. In our family's time of need, I believe God is helping our family find our identity in Him and find unity under Him.

I think too that Joseph was testing his brothers, if he had not seen the change in Judah, he may have kept Benjamin to protect him.
I love the story of Peter stepping out of the boat. How many times has God called me to step out of the boat and I've been too afraid? I never noticed the verse after that though, "instantly Jesus reached out his hand". What a powerful push, not only could my faith in God sustain me on the "waves", but even if I falter, God is there to instantly save me! I think it may be time to stop cowering in the boat.

I think Joseph was weeping from happiness at seeing his brothers again. I’m under the impression that when he sent them back and told them they would not see his face again unless they brought back the youngest, Benjamin, that he was testing them to see if they have indeed matured and would show compassion to each other and their father. Then when they came back with Benjamin I got the impression that by putting his cup in Benjamin’s bag he was again testing his brothers. Did his brothers change for the better and do they now show any compassion toward each other? When Judah offered himself instead of Benjamin I think that Joseph was again weeping with happiness that his brothers have now matured to the point of showing compassion and willing to basically sacrifice their lives; Judah in this case, for the life of the other. So…I feel like Josephs weeping was pure happiness on all accounts.

In Matthew we see Jesus going off by himself to pray. Many times throughout the gospels we see Jesus going off by himself to pray. I’ve always seen this as a lesson to us that we also need to make time to be alone with our heavenly father in prayer. I try to do this everyday. This blog helps with that time, but I also try to spend some time with God alone and on a one-to-one basis outside of this blog. It really makes the day better or if at the end of the day it makes sense of the day and helps me relax. God is wonderful!

Matthew 14:31 stood out to me today, “31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, “ he said, “why did you doubt?” The part where Jesus says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” really stands out. Although I have faith in Jesus, faith that He is guiding me in my life, this verse makes me wonder if my faith is strong enough to withstand any difficult times that could be ahead. I think I would be like Peter and start sinking if my faith were put to a real test, but what is wonderful is that Jesus is there to reach out His hand and catch me/us. That part of the verse is encouraging and should give us all a greater amount of faith in Jesus.


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