Ordered Steps, (321,090 of them)

Three times on our recent trip to Europe I got us hopelessly lost, twice in Paris and once in Helsinki. 

41043279-1eb4-4c30-b57e-3de605f9ed78Mostly we had an amazing time of meandering and discovery. Our amazing discoveries included; a cup of Cappuccino with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; the Changing of the Royal Palace Guard dressed in their royal blue regalia in Old Stockholm; Swedish Meatballs at an exquisite restaurant in a small, hidden, triangular courtyard; and Ratatouilles’ friend Remy alive and well at dusk in a hugely populated courtyard. (Chill your spine and curl up into a fetal ball on your chair encounter.) 

My wife and I have learned to travel together by meandering and off-the-grid discovery. It not only works well, but it also works best for us. We don’t spend a lot of money on tourist nets that have been previously set with our names on them. Instead, we discover great places to take a break and sometimes, too often, eat. Parks, bridges, architecture, and archways garnered photo ops by the megabyte.

The hopelessly lost part happened because we had to get to someone else’s ‘great discovery’ restaurant. The ‘have to’ combined with my North American grid mentality was not a right combination in a city of circles and wedges, especially when you add in about 10,000 extra steps.

Even a good relationship can get somewhat testy when you circle around your hotel an extra 2 kilometres in the dark cobblestone streets with rain, without GPS because it’s 11:20 pm and your phone has just died.

We loved the vibe of ancient Europe. We loved the clash and harmony of the architecture of days gone by with the new and innovative appeal. Europe for us equals an amazingly inspired time of pause and reflection.

In a quiet time this morning, I read, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” (Proverbs 20:24, NIV)

It occurred to me that not only our positive steps but all of our steps have a divine oversight because God really is taking us on a discovery journey, an amazing could be inspired time, of pause and reflection.

Joseph Series: Breakthrough

“Get changed! Get shaved. The king wants to see you now!”
You waited and waited, and then you waited some more, now things are moving so fast you hardly know you are involved.
This was Joseph’s breakthrough moment, well; this was the moment when all things changed.
Joseph’s breakthrough moment happened earlier. I wasn’t there, neither were you. Joseph in the privacy of his privacy had his wrestle with God and with no one else. He wrestled with the same God that changed his dad and the way he walked. How do we know? Joseph held his values. They came out his mouth every time there was an opportunity. It used to be he had a dream and was going to be… Now, God is the interpreter of dreams.
There still was a common thread, dreams. Joseph never gave up on his dream. I’m sure that the dream became very refined, but Joseph knew that God had given it, and he knew that God would now interpret it. He just didn’t know when.
Finally, we get to see the breakthrough.
The king’s dream must have been very compelling and convincing. He moved the entire responsibility of the Egyptian economy into Joseph’s care before a single crisis ensued.
We now read the story within a fifteen to twenty minute sitting and if we are not careful will miss the magnitude of what God did in, to, and for Joseph. We will miss what God did in, to, and for Pharaoh. We will miss what God did in, to, and for Jacob. Oh yes and remember those boys? We might miss what God did in, to, and for them.

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Joseph Series: Finally A Chance

Somewhere around year eleven Joseph finally got his break, or so he thought.

He, once again, was successful in the prison that confined him. On this particular day, two more guests (his perspective) came into the jail. From their perspective, it would have been the roughest day of each of their lives. The king was ticked at them, and they were thrown away, just like Joseph.

After they had been there a while each of them separately dreamed, but both on the same night. They didn’t know, but they were in the presence of a dreamer just like themselves. Joseph saw them in disarray and offered help. “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” (Genesis 40:8, NIV)

Joseph had learned something. He was no longer the interpreter of his dream or the dreams of others.

It’s hard not to attach your own spin on things. Most of the time I find that I try to interpret my life, but Joseph realized that after eleven years he was not the interpreter of dreams. He could have them, as can I, as can you, but God was and is the interpreter.

It went well for the first guest the cupbearer, and it went terribly wrong for the second, the baker. After three days the interpretations came true, the Baker died, the Cupbearer was restored, and Joseph was once again forgotten.

Interpretations do belong to God, but so does timing and we don’t like that. We feel forgotten, lost, alone and frustrated. If we could fast forward the calendar five years and we could ask Joseph if he was okay with the timing, he probably would be, but not that day.

What are you waiting on? What is the long-standing dream of yours that is on hold? What prayer or plea appears to have ‘No’ as the answer?

What if there is a perfect moment coming?

You may want to wait.

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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

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.

Think.

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500 Metre Storm

Weird: try to explain it.

In the case of an accident, by the time you would be able, the evidence would be gone. No pictures; there wasn’t time; at 100 kph it was done almost as quickly as it started. It was a full on blizzard for something that lasted little more than twenty seconds. It was a band of weather crossing the road. By the time anyone could investigate, it would look like you just lost focus in normal conditions.

I was driving and then all of a sudden there were white out conditions. The car that was plainly visible in front of me disappeared in a moment. For a moment the road and defining lines were gone. At that moment, with the wrong set of circumstances, there could have been a mishap.

At that moment, in that flurry, what do you do? There are no manuals, time, or instruction videos immediately available. What you know is what you’ve got. Who you are is who it is. I backed off the throttle, stayed steady and cautiously proceeded.

Sometimes that is the way that life hits. In a moment, everything you know is gone, compromised, and jeopardized.

Emotional white outs, do they happen? Sometimes we want to run; we just want to bug out. Those are moments when we need to stay steady, back off the throttle and cautiously proceed. In about the time that it takes to breathe it’s gone and done. The only one who knows how precarious it was is you.

And one more thing, actually he’s not a thing he is a he. The Holy Spirit, if you let him, has promised to be your guide. Think about that, an internal GPS that comes with the instructions. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13, NIV)

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Location, Location, Location

My wife and I just travelled much of yesterday and through the night last night. We journeyed for nineteen hours all in, to set ourselves up for the next week, month, year and years; my wife for a major trip, myself for a major course for credentialing, and to help my two daughters for a significant shift in their locations.

The key is that we couldn’t do anything for any of that without a change of our position. The location change is temporary but vital and necessary for the accomplishment of all those goals.

I’ve heard the phrase, so you must have too, “Location, Location, Location.” From the phrase, from the emphasis, location is a huge deal, but it is.

Our place we hold in life, the place we currently are and the place we need to be is location or attitudinal particular.

What changes do you need to make to prepare your readiness, your availability, your centre of operation? What trip do you need to make in your thoughts or attitudes to be proximal for your next move or project?

Faith filled living is all about trajectory and movement towards the object of our faith, Christ.

Take a moment and check your setting. Get proximal to his purpose for your life. If necessary, make the plans and get moving.

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!