God wanted him in jail


It is not easy to understand, but it was part of God’s plan that Joseph end up in shackles, in slavery, and ultimately in jail. It may be part of God’s plan that you go through some difficult, confusing times as well.

Psalm 105:16-19
He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave. 
18 They bruised his feet with shackles, 
    his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.

The story of Joseph and his coat of many colors is well-known. Just ask Donny Osmond about his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

A quick recap, Joseph was well-loved by his father, and in fact was the favorite of all the sons.  The beautiful robe was a gift from his father.

One day Joseph had a few different dreams that he shared with his brothers.  Basically he dreamed that his brothers gathered around and bowed down to him. The brothers already disliked him, since he was the favorite son, and as you might expect, these dreams made them even more upset.  At the time, no one realized that the dreams were from God and actually letting them know of an event that would happen in the future.

One day their father set Joseph to check on his brothers as they were taking care of the sheep.  His brothers conspired to kill him, but decided instead to sell him as a slave to a group of passing Ishmaelites.

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Family Devotion Time


As a children’s pastor, one thing I enjoy doing is providing parents with tools to become the spiritual leaders in their home.  I have found that many parents would like to do this, but are intimidated, or simply don’t know what to do.
Last fall I wrote a family devotion book that has since been used in countless homes and churches across the country.  It has been a great blessing to many families.  Below is a sample devotion from the book.  It is meant to be read and completed as a family, whether in one sitting, two, or even three.  Do whatever works for your family.  The important thing is that you take the time together.

This week’s word: Believe

Think about it— Do you think it is easy or hard to believe in Jesus?  It takes faith to believe in something that you cannot see.  Even though we cannot see God, He has done so many things in us, around us, and for us, that we can know that He is there.


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Do you believe in what you cannot see?

1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen

Romans 1:19-20
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s  invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been     clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men  are without excuse.

This week at home:

Read Hebrews 11:24-27

Do you think it was easy for Moses to believe God?
How was Moses able to see “him who was invisible’?
Draw a picture of what you think God looks like.

Read  John 3:1-19

What does it mean to be ‘born again’?
Where does the wind come from? (vs 8)
How can we have eternal life?

Final thought:

The dictionary says that believing means we are confident of  the truth or existence of something  (God) without  absolute proof (not being able to see Him)  Do you believe in God?  What makes you believe?

We cannot see the wind, but we can see what the wind does.  We can see the clouds move or the leaves on a tree wiggle or a flag wave in the breeze.  We may not be able to see God, but we can see what He does.  We can tell when He changes something in our life.  We can see the plants and animals and stars and know it was God that made them.  Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe He is there.  If you have questions ask God this week to show you He is real.

If you enjoyed this, follow the link to a printable version.

Click here for printable version

Print it for yourself, your family, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, you get the idea.  Also, check out my book.  It contains 10 different family devotion times, including this one.   Follow this link to see a sample of the book, and if you would like, you can purchase a copy–  FamilyTalk: A Guide to Family Devotions

I welcome your comments, and I would love to hear how your family grows together spiritually.  Do me a favor–share this post with a family who would benefit from reading it together.

I also leave you with a question:  How do you know God is real?

What’s your Plan?


Whether you are a leader leading others in a joint journey, or you are a follower and joining with someone else to assist them in their journey, you have to have a plan.  You do not have to have all of the details, but there are certain things you need to know.

Do you have a plan?  Do you know where you are going?  Do you know how you will get there?

Sometimes God’s direction is not too clear.  Just ask Abraham, when God told him to “leave and go to the place I will show you”.  God was not specific, but he was clear with his instructions.  Abraham needed to leave where he was.  God would show him more later.  If you are in a place that you do not have specific direction, go with what you know.  God will lead you one step at a time.  If you take the wrong step, God will show you, and if you take the correct step God will bless you.  It is true living by faith.  Hebrews 11:8  “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
If you are in this situation, make sure you convey that to those around you, especially if you are a leader.  It is easier to follow a leader when there is a clear laid out plan.  Remember, even if you don’t know all the details, it is very difficult to follow someone who does not communicate.  At the very least, communicate your situation to those around you.  Who knows….maybe God is speaking direction to someone around you! Continue reading