Joseph Series: Think Outside The …

The circumstances you find yourself in

The pain that is in your heart

The broken relationship that you can’t fix

The disease that will not quit

The home that has been broken and shattered


The great plans you have for your year

The retirement that for which you can hardly wait

The new House

The new Car

The new Job


The new sweetheart you have on the side

The plans of discarding all that is right and true

The one night stand


Think outside the box that you find yourself in.

Joseph had to. He had to look for more than childhood dreams. They just weren’t working out how he had envisioned them. The prison box that he was held captive in did not house the dream that was in his heart.

All he had left were hopes and dreams, and you know? They were probably too small.

What box, what pressure cooker are you living in? Perhaps, the very thing creating all the pressure is forming you, for the better, the best.


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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!


I’ve seen frazzled from quite a few different angles and vantage points this last week to 10 days as our city of 88,000 had to flee their homes and jobs to save their lives.

As I sit here to write, I find my focus and concentration are somewhat challenged. Things have changed.

I saw my role as ‘Helper’, and so I did. I started helping from where I was.

We weren’t in the evacuation because we had already left a few days earlier, but our son was, we felt helpless and watched as the stories and reports came in. My family was displaced and scattered. I wanted them together with hugs. So, I started doing what I could with Facebook, email and texting, tracking other people’s safety. More than a few onlookers immediately responded as I confirmed their loved one’s safe exodus. Everyone was on pins and needles. Conversations, phone calls, words of encouragement, all flowed from heart, phone and keyboard wherever I could.

Then the second night it hit. I lay down at the end of a long day and all of a sudden it dawned on me, “I am a refuge.” I was ready to help others and see perspective for them, but I wasn’t prepared to be one who himself wondered worried or needed help.

Now several days later, in the hub of activity, I have spent the last few days helping connect people and resources. Tomorrow I’m leaving. I’ve been called back to work so I have to help once again from a distance.

Life has been big for a lot of people this past week. No. Life has been huge for people. It’s been huge for those who have lost and are displaced; it’s been huge for those who have realigned their schedules to take them in. Life has been huge for those who help. Everyone is trying to cope and help.

So? Pray. Pray for those around you. Pray for those you know here and at a distance. Pray for their situations and challenges. But, don’t forget to pray for yourself. Don’t just cope, pray. Frazzle starts to dissipate and settle when you pray.

Let me help you start. “Lord I’m frazzled, I need your peace…”

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!


Yesterday was stressor #3! But, that wasn’t good enough for us, so we moved it to a 1.5. We felt, “Why not?” Instead of just moving one daughter, we decided to move two to two new locations, well actually they decided, we just ‘parented.’ Not only did we move two daughters we threw in two ferry crossings all within 19 hours, which seems common these days…the nineteen hour part.

Moving from one home to another is considered one of the top five stressors in our North American life. Healthstatus dot com says, “It may be a happy occasion, but it is still a disruption of your routine. And any disruption of your routine causes stress.”

It occurs to me, we don’t want disturbance, that’s why we don’t want to change. The fear that we imagine will be keeps us from moving in our thoughts our attitudes. “It’s easier just to maintain,” we reason. “Don’t rock the boat; I’ve lived this way too long.” Shame. (British/South African for, ‘that’s too bad.’)

When did we start hardening up? When did we become crusty? We changed all the time when we were kids. Now we need some catastrophic event to move us.

Why not turn our faces into the wind and begin to embrace the adventure? Let’s not wait to be moved by some major upset. Let’s decide ourselves. Let’s embrace the discomfort, the unexpected, the mystery.

Pull out all the stops, jump in with both feet, seize the day, taste my metaphor soup and change!

Oh, one more thing. You actually have to move to make this happen.

There were no blow-outs, no fracturing of relationships, no forever regrets; just four tired people. Change can happen. It can happen well.

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!