Thinking of You Tuesday


I have several real life (IRL) and “internet” friends who are hurting.  A parent in hospice, a son’s untimely, sudden death, layoff following layoff, unresolved hurt.  You name it, it’s going on.  I shared the following with a group of friends a couple of weeks ago at a prayer/encouragement evening.  I wanted to give my friend Martha credit for writing it, but she says did use it at a women’s retreat several years ago, but couldn’t take credit for authoring it.

Well, whoever the author is, several scriptures throughout the Bible were compiled to sound like a letter from God to His Beloved.  That’s you, you know.  You are His Beloved, even when you don’t feel like it.  Even when your life doesn’t look like it.

Thinking of my friends, wherever you are today.

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mybeloved

Take care, friends.

All writing and photos property of LoneStarLifer 2010.

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Joseph and me. Part 2.


evt6991_joseph

So we were discussing Joseph and his life in my last post.  He was living in Egypt, second only to Pharoah.  His brothers came to ask for food during a famine, not realizing that they are talking to the brother they sold into slavery.  They bowed before him, just as his dream had predicted many years before.

Dress Rehearsal.  One of my Egyptian dancing buddies.

Dress Rehearsal. One of my Egyptian dancing buddies.

Joseph was ready to have a reconciliation with his brothers, but wanted to have youngest brother Benjamin join the group.  He accused the brothers of being spies and said if they were truthful men, they would go home and bring back Benjamin.  He kept Simeon with him while the brothers went home.  Father Jacob was not pleased for Benjamin to go with them as he was afraid he would be lost as Joseph was.  The famine finally got bad enough that he relented and the brothers came back with Benjamin.
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Dress Rehearsal. A brother of Joseph.

There was more family drama, but long story short, Joseph and his family were reconciled.  When the brothers realized who Joseph was, they were scared as they remembered what they had done to Joseph in the past.  He sent them back for Jacob so the entire family could be together.  They were given good land upon which to live and the family had many good years together.

Years later, Jacob died and the brothers were worried.  They wondered if Joseph was still angry with them and now that Jacob was dead, if he would punish them.  The brothers bowed before him and said, “We are your slaves.”

And here’s my favorite section of the story (Gen. 50): Joseph said to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid! I have no right to change what God has decided. 20You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing. 21Don’t be afraid! I will take care of you and your children.” After Joseph said this, his brothers felt much better.

You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best……

This is the mantra by which I try to live my life.  This scripture is taped to my computer.

You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best……

I’m borrowing this next little bit of discussion from a friend who taught a class about Joseph many years ago and it has always stayed with me.

Josephs’s life looked like this:
josephlife3

Look familiar?  I’m sure I’m the only person whose life looks like this. Right?   Highs and lows and mundane and lower lows and regular life and lows and high highs.  For years, Joseph has inspired me.  He reminds me that a person’s life will have all manner of good, bad, hurt, joy, smiles, tears, love, loneliness, celebration, hope.  And through it all, Joseph’s  faith in God stayed intact, and he kept the big picture in mind.  There are things in life that can throw me for a loop and hey,  I’m human.  I worry, I laugh, I stress, I love, I get frustrated, I grow, I live….and hopefully, I do it all with the attitude that God keeps my best interest in His heart and what I see right in front of me is not all there is.   Joseph kept putting one foot in front of the other and walked into better things.

Dress Rehearsal.  Transforming into an Egyptian lady.

Dress Rehearsal. Transforming into an Egyptian lady.

Joseph also models forgiveness for me.  He sure was done wrong, but he was able to not only forgive his family, but see that the things happening in his life were stepping stones for better things.  I pray to keep an open heart and mind to hear, to see, to figure out what God is trying to teach me.  I often fall short of the goal, but when I do have those moments where I can plainly see God’s hand in the workings of my life, it is overwhelming.

If you are interested in reading the entire story of Joseph, check out Genesis chapters 37-50.  There are other lessons to be learned.  Doing right no matter what.  Not letting unfairness turn you into a bitter, angry person.  Showing courage in hard moments.  Allowing God to work through you so others can see his greatness.  Joseph’s story can speak to you in any season of life.  Check him out!

If you are in the Houston area, come see the show.  Remember, we are all ordinary folks who have day jobs, but we do a pretty good job of sharing fab music and a relevant story for your life today.  Leave a comment or email me if you want more information.

You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best……

You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best……

You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best……

Dress Rehearsal.  I'm putting the finishing touches on Mrs. Potiphar.

Dress Rehearsal. I'm putting the finishing touches on Mrs. Potiphar.

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

Joseph and me.


I’ve been absent from this space lately.  Burning the candle at all points possible.

That’s because I’m in rehearsals.

Doesn’t that sound official?

My church is presenting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soon.
evt6991_joseph
Sat & Sun Sept 26-27 and Sat and Sun Oct 3-4.

I am an Egyptian dancing lady. That in itself is worth the price of admission.  joseph2

With full-time work and a family to watch after, being in this production has certainly filled my sleep free time.

But that’s ok, because I’m happy to share the story of Joseph.  His story is my favorite story in the Bible.  Well, besides the story of Jesus.  But my favorite Bible story about mortal humans.

Do you know the story of Joseph?  He was the favorite son, one of 12 sons, of Jacob.  His mom was Rachel, who was Jacob’s true love.  Jacob showed favoritism towards Joseph, gifting him a beautifully colored coat to show his favor.

Our fab Joseph and his fab coat.    Picture courtesy of Charles Foster.

Our fab Joseph and his fab coat. Picture courtesy of Charles Foster.

Joseph also had a dream that he and the brothers were gathering wheat.  Joseph’s bundle of wheat grew taller and the brothers’ bundles bowed to his,  interpreted to say that one day the brothers would bow to Joseph.  That was more than the brothers could take, and when Jacob sent Joseph out to check on the brothers, they made a plan to kill him.  Reuben talked the other brothers into throwing him into a pit instead, and planned to come and rescue him later.  But while Reuben was away, Ishmaelites came by and the brothers sold Joseph to them as a slave.  The brothers took the colored coat they had ripped off of Joseph, dipped it in animal blood so that it looked as if Joseph had been killed by an animal and presented it to Jacob.  Jacob was devastated, saying he would never get over losing Joseph.

Dress Rehearsal. The Ismaelite who bought Joseph for a slave.

Dress Rehearsal. The Ismaelite who bought Joseph for a slave.

Meanwhile, Joseph ends up in Egypt working for Potiphar, who managed Pharoah’s household.  Joseph was an excellent worker and Potiphar soon came to prize him.  He recognized something special in Joseph.  Joseph was made Potiphar’s personal aide and managed his personal affairs.  Potiphar’s household ran smoothly and things were good.  Genesis 39 says God was with Joseph and blessed the house.

Then here comes trouble with a capital T.  Potiphar’s wife.  Joseph was a very handsome guy and Mrs. Potiphar crooked her finger and said, “Come here.”  Joseph turned her down, saying that Potiphar trusted him and he couldn’t sin against God.  She kept pestering him and one day he literally ran out of his coat getting away from her.  Mrs. Potiphar cried out that Joseph had tried to force himself on her and she scared him away by yelling.

Joseph was thrown into prison, and Genesis 39 says God was still with him.  The head jailer liked Joseph and put him in charge of the prisoners; he ended up running the whole operation.  In time, the king’s baker and cupbearer are thrown in prison.  (Genesis 40) They both had dreams the same night, and Joseph was around to interpret them.  He gave the cupbearer the good news that he would be getting out of prison soon.   Joseph asked him to please remember him and tell Pharoah about how he didn’t deserve to be in prison, that he’d been wrongly accused and wrongly sold into slavery.  The baker hoped to also have good news about his dream, but no, he was destined for a sad end.  When the cupbearer went back to work for Pharoah, he forgot all about Joseph and two more years passed.

Dress Rehearsal.  Jacob and some of his sons.

Dress Rehearsal. Jacob and some of his sons.

(Genesis 41) Pharoah had a troubling dream and didn’t have anyone to interpret it.  The cupbearer said, “Oh, I forgot.  There is this guy I met in prison who correctly interpreted dreams that the baker and I had.”  Pharoah called for Joseph immediately and asked if he could interpret for him.  Joseph said, “Not me, but God can.”  Joseph told the king that Egypt was in for 7 years of bountiful harvest, then 7 years of famine.  Because Pharoah saw that God was with Joseph, he appointed Joseph to get Egypt ready for the bounty and the famine.  Joseph was second-in-command and had the chariot to prove it.  Pharaoh told Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one in Egypt will make a single move without your stamp of approval.”  Now THAT is some power!

Want to know what Joseph did?  Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Joseph and me.

PS – Have you ever considered how you would react if you were presented this opportunity to face those who hurt you….and you had the power?  Or have you had this experience?  Were you proud of the way you acted?  Read Part 2 of Joseph and Me right here.

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.